Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s Dragon capsule splashed down off the Baja California coast this morning after successfully completing a supply mission to the International Space Station.
The Hawthorne company’s SpaceX Dragon is the first commercial vehicle to launch into orbit and dock with the International Space Station. It took 1,000 pounds of food and other provisions to the six astronauts at the space station and returned with payload of completed experiments and equipment.
The capsule launched May 22 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket. The successful mission may lead to SpaceX getting a coveted contract to make regular cargo runs to the station.
SpaceX, founded by L.A. technology mogul Elon Musk, is one of several commercial rocket and spacecraft companies competing for the opportunity to eventually launch American astronauts from U.S. soil now that NASA has ended its Space Shuttle program.
The Business Journal this month estimated Musk has a net worth of $2 billion, placing him No. 24 on the paper’s annual list of Wealthiest Angelenos.