10/25/2014 16:32 EDT | Updated 12/25/2014 05:59 EST

Unmanned SpaceX cargo craft leaves space station

The unmanned SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule left the International Space Station and headed back to earth with more than 1600 kg of hardware on board including what Nasa described as "critical scientific experiments."

- WATCH: Video of the unmanned craft leaving the ISS

The Dragon arrived at the ISS Sept 23 on its fourth resupply mission to the space outpost.

Nasa says Dragon is the only cargo vehicle servicing the space station that can return cargo and scientific experiments back to Earth for post-flight analysis.

It is headed for a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja, California.