A Dragon returned from a short trip to orbit once before, on a solo shakedown cruise in December 2010.
Russia's Soyuz spacecraft for carrying crews also parachutes down, but on land, deep inside Kazakhstan. All of the government-provided cargo vessels of Russia, Europe and Japan are filled with station garbage and burn up on descent.
NASA lost the capability of getting things back when its shuttles were retired last July.
Rival Orbital Sciences Corp. hopes to have its first unmanned test flight off by year's end, launching from Wallops Island in Virginia. It also has a NASA contract for cargo runs.
Until American astronauts are flying again from U.S. soil, the focus will be on filling the space station's larder.
- Target: 40 million card accounts may be breached
- New solar projects in Utah, nation poised to...
- Fury and frustration over Target data breach
- New southern Florida threat: invasive rock...
- Answers to questions about the Target data...
- NASA astronauts begin urgent spacewalking...
- Study: Yellowstone magma chamber more than 2...
- Robespierre gets 3D makeover, possible diagnosis
- Massachusetts high-tech startup hopes... 3
- Target: 40 million card accounts may be... 3
- As NORAD tracks Santa, critics track NORAD 2
- New solar projects in Utah, nation... 2
- Holidays key test for Nintendo as Wii U... 1
- Europe launches satellite to map 1... 1
- Answers to questions about the Target... 1
- Fury and frustration over Target data... 1