(CNN) - The first private capsule to dock at the International Space Station will return to Earth Thursday, nine days after it took off on its historic mission.
The capsule, known as Dragon, was released by the space station's robotic arm at 5:35 a.m. ET. A thruster burn a minute later pushed the spacecraft away from its host, according to SpaceX, the private company that built and operates the Dragon.
On Sunday, Dragon delivered to the space station more than 1,000 pounds of cargo, including food, clothing, computer equipment and supplies for science experiments and has been reloaded with everything from trash to scientific research and experimental samples.
The capsule is scheduled to splash into the Pacific Ocean around 11:44 a.m. ET, several hundred miles west of California, according to NASA.
PBS NewsHour Science Correspondent Miles O'Brien details the importance of Space X Dragon capsule's trip back to Earth.