The Dragon on its final descent to the Pacific Ocean, with three main parachutes slowing the spacecraft. (SpaceX)

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SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft returned to Earth from the International Space Station, safely splashing down approximately 250 miles off the coast of southern California. (SpaceX)
This photo provided by SpaceX shows an unmanned Dragon freighter that left the International Space Station with a stash of precious medical samples and aimed for a Pacific splashdown to end the first official shipment under a billion-dollar contract with NASA, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station used a giant robot arm to release the commercial cargo ship 255 miles up. The California-based SpaceX company steered its capsule back to Earth via parachutes on Sunday afternoon, a couple hundred miles off the Baja California coast. (AP Photo/SpaceX)