CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A spacecraft used in a resupply mission of the International Space Station splashed down off the coast of Florida Saturday but not before surprising some residents in the Southeast with a sonic boom as the capsule streaked through the atmosphere.
Residents in both Georgia and Florida reported hearing a loud boom shortly after 2:30 p.m.
Social media users in Daytona, St. Augustine, Jacksonville and other communities said windows shook, and some houses rattled during the planned reentry event.
The spacecraft launched from the Kennedy Space Center on July 15 and spent a month attached to the International Space Station. Astronauts used the time to unload supplies and important experiments from the Dragon capsule.
The spacecraft was originally expected to return to Earth on Friday, but NASA delayed the arrival due to thunderstorms in the reentry zone.
Saturday’s weather provided enough clearance for the parachute-assisted splashdown off Florida’s east coast around 2:53 p.m.
Aboard the spacecraft were more than 4,000 pounds of scientific experiments and other cargo.
NASA said experiments involved examining space impacts on a variety materials, spacesuit cooling tests and human skin healing.
The Dragon capsule was safely recovered by a SpaceX recovery team off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Once retrieved, SpaceX said some of the critical science experiments were flown back to the Kennedy Space Center aboard a helicopter.
The next resupply mission by a Dragon spacecraft is expected to launch from Florida’s Space Coast in November.