WASHINGTON - A SpaceX reusable cargo ship splashed down in the Pacific Ocean safely on Sunday, ending a mission to supply astronauts on the International Space Station, the company said.

The Dragon capsule - the only such vessel capable of returning research samples and other material to Earth - remained docked with the ISS for nearly a month after delivering more than two tonnes of food, water and scientific equipment for NASA on February 23. Before its departure, the crew loaded the cargo ship with old equipment, waste and almost 4,000 pounds of research samples from experiments carried out in the station’s condition of microgravity.