Science

NASA delays SpaceX’s ISS resupply mission over space station glitch

NASA delays SpaceX’s ISS resupply mission over space station glitch”

The Verge explains what happened: To generate power, the space station uses eight long solar arrays on the outside of the station that convert sunlight into electricity.

NASA stressed Tuesday that the station and its six astronauts are safe.

So what's changed in five decades of testing spacecraft, and what does this anomaly mean for NASA's partnership with SpaceX and Boeing?

Despite the issue, officials are confident it will be resolved soon and have rescheduled the launch to May 3 at 07:11 UTC.

Unlike Russian Progress supply ships that fly themselves all the way in to docking at one of four Russian ports at the station, the Dragon relies on the USA segment's 50-foot-long robot arm to capture it and pull it in for berthing at the Earth-facing port of the forward Harmony module. Flight controllers are now working to route power through the remaining six power channels. Any breakdown in this critical system can cut into power and affect operations. Nasa wants to replace the failed unit to restore full power before sending up the SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule.

If the launch goes Friday, Air Force weather officials are predicting a 60 percent chance of favorable launch conditions.

The launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, carrying its Dragon spacecraft and about 2,500 kilograms of research, crew supplies, is pushed back to Saturday, according to NASA. "These are just lifetime issues", he said, adding that are a number of spares available. The science payloads range from "tissue chip" biomedical experiments to the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 experiment that will be mounted on the exterior of the station. During a broadcast session April 29 when station astronauts talked with students, he said he was the only one to notice that some of the lights in the Kibo module, where the astronauts conducted the broadcast, were turned off because of the power issue.



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