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SpaceX calls capsule drop test successful

/ Source: The Associated Press

The California rocketry firm SpaceX says this month's test of a parachute system to land a cargo or crew capsule safely in an ocean was fully successful.

The Hawthorne-based company said Friday that on Aug. 12 a capsule was lifted by a helicopter to an altitude of 14,000 feet and released over the Pacific off Morro Bay, Calif.

Two small parachutes deployed to stabilize and slow the capsule before three large main parachutes unfurled, bringing the test vehicle to a gentle splashdown.

SpaceX hopes to become a commercial supplier to NASA, carrying supplies and astronauts to the international space station. Earlier this year, SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Fla.