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Home / Science / The launch of SpaceX is delayed by space station malfunctions – Spaceflight Now

The launch of SpaceX is delayed by space station malfunctions – Spaceflight Now



This picture shows part of a solar field wing on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

A SpaceX Dragon Delivery ship filled with nearly three tons of experiments, crew supplies and supplies will remain on the ground at least until Friday morning, allowing NASA air traffic controllers more time to correct an issue with an electrical distribution unit on the International Space Station.

Several sources said the commercial re-launch, which was scheduled for Wednesday, will be postponed at least two days to not earlier than Friday at 3:11 am EDT (0711 GMT).

The delay will allow time for NASA air traffic controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston to fix a problem with a distribution box in the space station's power system. Engineers found a problem with the main bus switching unit on Monday morning, and ground crews can replace the component later this week before the SpaceX charge starts.

The unit is one of several that conducts the current from the space station to US solar arrays to the electrical outlets of the research outpost. The suspect unit distributes the power to two of the station's eight electrical channels, including a power supply for the station's robotic arm, which the station's astronauts will use to detect the Dragon cargo ship as it approaches the complex.

The robotic arm remains powered by a separate channel, NASA's flight rules require redundant power supplies for the arm during critical operations, such as: B. holding a free-flying spacecraft.

Ground teams have replaced a failed main bus switching unit by the robotic arm station. The ability to replace the power distribution box with robots means that astronauts may not need to make a spacewalk.

The disruption of the electrical system is not an immediate problem for the station or its six-man crew, NASA said. [19659009] The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) of NASA and the US Space Test Program (Houston 6) (STP-H6) are in the trunk of the SpaceX spacecraft Dragon in the SpaceX facility of the Kennedy Space Center Installed in Florida on March 23, 2019. Credit: NASA

"On Monday morning, teams identified a problem with the International Space Station's electrical power system and are working to identify the cause and restore full system performance," the company said Space Agency has an updated update on its website.

In the update released Monday afternoon, officials said engineers are investigating an unspecified matter with a main bus switching unit.

You need to channel power through the remaining six power channels, "NASA said. "The electrical energy generated by the solar arrays of the station is fed through these current channels in all the station systems."

NASA said on Monday afternoon that managers had discussed how the power system problem might affect the plans to launch the SpaceX replenishment supply.

If The Dragon Spacecraft had started on Wednesday, it should arrive at the station early Saturday. Assuming a launch from Cape Canaveral on Friday morning, the dragon's cargo freighter will reach the complex early Sunday.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1 .


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