The SpaceX Cargo Dragon is returning to Earth today, along with Indian NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari

After undocking from the International Space Station on Sunday morning, a US space cargo is scheduled to return to Earth today. The Expedition 66 team spent their time on the orbiting lab researching space agriculture and physics.

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon resupply ship is scheduled to return to Earth today, carrying 4,900 pounds of science experiments and station hardware for study and inspection. Dragon had undocked from the station around 10:40 a.m. EST on Sunday.

Monday afternoon, Dragon’s braking engines will fire, bringing the cargo craft out of orbit and back into Earth’s atmosphere. At 4:05 p.m. EST, the US spacecraft will splash down off the coast of Florida. The cargo craft’s return to Earth and splashdown activities will not be aired on NASA TV.

Meanwhile, the crew of the orbital lab continued to investigate a range of microgravity events today. NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Kayla Barron were kept busy with a pair of botany experiments, with the duo looking at how to grow crops in space and how microgravity impacts cotton genetics. Matthias Maurer, an ESA astronaut, installed hardware for the Fluidics experiment, which is investigating how to optimise fuel systems for spacecraft.

Onboard the station, maintenance is always continuing to ensure the crew’s health and the lab systems’ proper operation. Mark Vande Hei, a NASA flight engineer, began the day by dismantling and storing unused life support equipment before photographing cargo racks to capture their current configurations. Thomas Marshburn, a NASA flight engineer, spent the entire day working on US spacesuit batteries and chargers.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov spent the day in the Russian part of the orbiting lab conducting science and maintenance. Before routing air ducts within the ISS Progress 79 cargo craft, Shkaplerov utilised a myograph to evaluate his muscle strength in microgravity. Prior to replacing fuel bottles within the Combustion Integrated Rack, Dubrov had some basic post-spacewalk housekeeping to undertake.