The SpaceX Dragon capsule returns to Earth with a full load of science samples after its mission to the International Space Station.
The Dragon cargo ship parachuted into the Pacific on Sunday off the Southern California coast. Astronauts set it free from the International Space Station 5½ hours earlier.
The Dragon flew to the space station a month ago from the same Florida launch pad used for NASA's Apollo moon shots. It took up more than 5,000 pounds of supplies and brought back just as much in completed experiments and used equipment.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said, "This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years".
NASA's other supplier, Orbital ATK, plans to launch its own supply ship Friday, also from Cape Canaveral, Florida. That one, however, burns up on re-entry.
The space station is home to one Frenchman, two Americans and three Russians.