It carried cargo of up to two tons, all of which were science experiments and other gear from the International Space Station that is now orbiting earth.
The Dragon flew to the space station a month ago from the same Florida launch pad used for NASA's Apollo moon shots. The Dragon capsule is a reusable craft.
It's equipped with a heat shield that allows cargo to be shipped back to Earth; the journey took five hours and it splashed down off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. The space capsule was retrieved easily from there by a recovery team.
The trip began early today when astronauts used the station's robotic arm to pull the Dragon away from its port and position it for the automated descent. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet from France were the ones to send the spacecraft back to Earth.
SpaceX's Dragon capsule floats toward a Pacific Ocean splashdown. The capsule will head back to McGregor, Texas where SpaceX's research facility is located.
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Innumerable types of space research are being conducted on the ISS.
A variety of technological and biological studies are returning in Dragon.
"Everything from stem cells that could help us understand how human cancers start and spread after being exposed to near zero-gravity, to equipment that is paving the way toward servicing and refueling satellites while they're in orbit will be on board", stated NASA officials.
The results of other studies and experiments include the impact of weightlessness on the regrowth of wounded tissues and regeneration of bone.
The SpaceX Dragon is pictured seconds before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.