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SpaceX Dragon returns to Earth from space station, parachutes into Pacific with experiments

FILE - This April 22, 2014 file photo provided by NASA shows a photo of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft docked to the International Space Station and was photographed by one of two spacewalking astronauts. On Sunday, May 18, 2014, after a one-month visit, the SpaceX cargo ship was for return to Earth. The astronauts released it using the International Space Station’s big robot arm. (AP Photo/NASA, File)

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FILE - This April 22, 2014 file photo provided by NASA shows a photo of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft docked to the International Space Station and was photographed by one of two spacewalking astronauts. On Sunday, May 18, 2014, after a one-month visit, the SpaceX cargo ship was for return to Earth. The astronauts released it using the International Space Station’s big robot arm. (AP Photo/NASA, File)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The SpaceX Dragon is back on Earth.

The commercial cargo ship splashed into the Pacific on Sunday, just five hours after leaving the International Space Station. It brought back 3,500 pounds of science samples and old equipment for NASA.

SpaceX said the Dragon capsule came down off Mexico's Baja California coast. The company is based in Southern California.

The Dragon spent a month at the orbiting lab, delivering a full shipment on Easter Sunday. Astronaut Steven Swanson, the station commander, used the big robot arm to set the Dragon free.

It's the only supply ship capable of returning items to Earth. The others burn up on re-entry.

This was the fourth Dragon capsule to bring back station goods.

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