It takes just 45 seconds for a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule to depart from the International Space Station and disappear from sight in an incredible new video. SpaceX released the footage on Twitter on Aug. 31.
The capsule had carried a range of supplies and scientific equipment to the astronauts aboard the space station, docking at the beginning of July. Those materials included an experiment meant to study how microgravity conditions aboard the space station affect cell growth and an instrument called ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS), which studies the water use of plants around the globe. The haul also included a spare part for the Canadarm2 device, which grapples spacecraft to the station. Dragon brought the astronauts a special treat, too: ice cream.
In fact, it was that very Canadarm2 that released the Dragon capsule on its journey back to Earth after its month-long stay attached to the space station. On its return, the Dragon carried 3,800 lbs. (1720 kilograms) of cargo out of orbit.
But you'd never guess that the capsule was so full from watching its departure, gliding gently off the space station and toward the blue marble that fills the background.