SpaceX capsule Dragon returned Thursday to Earth after becoming the first commercial vehicle to travel to the International Space Station, or ISS, to resupply it.

"Splashdown confirmed," said NASA's Mission Control in Houston as it broadcast the spacecraft's return live on its television channel.

The uncrewed capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 1542 GMT hundreds of kilometers (miles) west of Baja California, NASA said.

Dragon, which carried 460 kilograms (1,013 pounds) of cargo into space on its first resupply flight, remained docked to the ISS for five days, 16 hours and five minutes and brought back to Earth another 600 kg (1,320 pounds) of cargo no longer needed aboard the orbiting station.

The space vehicle re-entered the atmosphere at high speed as a "burning comet" but was protected from the extreme temperatures by a PICA-X heat shield.

Dragon's double parachutes, each one 35 meters (114 feet) in diameter, opened cleanly, stabilizing and braking the craft before it landed on target in the ocean.

A NASA airplane flew over the splashdown site as recovery operations got underway.

SpaceX had already prepared a 56-meter-long (182 feet) vessel equipped with a crane 24 meters (78 feet) high that operates with two auxiliary boats to recover the craft.

Dragon was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 22 with the task of ferrying cargo to the ISS and, after its successful mission, it is expected that it will become a regular supply vehicle for the orbital platform, given that NASA last year retired its shuttle fleet. EFE