[FPSPACE] SpaceX successfully launches again; thruster pod valve anomaly delayed Dragon solar panel opening

Peter Pesavento pjp961 at svol.net
Fri Mar 1 12:41:50 EST 2013


>From spacerefbiz

 

http://spaceref.biz/2013/03/spacex-falcon-9-launches-on-second-space-station
-resupply-mission.html

 

Video and image captures at the URL link


SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches But Anomaly Detected Which Delayed Solar Array
Deployment (Updated)


*	By Marc <http://spaceref.net/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=21&id=3>
Boucher
*	Posted March 1, 2013 9:56 AM

This morning at 10:10 a.m. EST, a SpaceX Falcon 9 with Dragon spacecraft
launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on
its second of 12 NASA contracted resupply missions to the International
Space Station (ISS).

Less than 24 hours after launching, the SpaceX Dragon is supposed to arrive
at the ISS where the station crew will grapple and berth the spacecraft to
the ISS for an expected three week visit.

However just before the Dragon solar arrays were to deploy an anomaly was
mentioned. The spacecraft appeared to be in the correct orbit with stage
separation accomplished.

According to Elon Musk there is an "issue with Dragon thruster pods. System
inhibiting three of four from initializing. About to command inhibit
override."

Musk further tweeted that they were "holding on solar array deployment until
at least two thruster pods are active."

SpaceX then released the following statement "One thruster pod is running.
Two are preferred to take the next step which is to deploy the solar arrays.
We are working to bring up the other two in order to plan the next series of
burns to get to station."

At about the same time as the release was received Musk then tweeted that
Dragon was "about to pass over Australia ground station and command inhibit
override." And then a little while later Musk tweeted "thruster pod 3 tank
pressure trending positive. Preparing to deploy solar arrays."

Then came the update people were hoping for as Musk tweeted "solar array
deployment successful." 

After the solar array was deployed SpaceX issued another statement: "Falcon
9 lifted off as planned and experienced a nominal flight. After Dragon
achieved orbit, the spacecraft experienced an issue with a propellant valve.
One thruster pod is running. We are trying to bring up the remaining three.
We did go ahead and get the solar arrays deployed. Once we get at least 2
pods running, we will begin a series of burns to get to station."

A press conference has been delayed but is expected sometime today.

The Dragon spacecraft is filled with about 1,200 pounds (544kg) of supplies,
including supplies to support the 160 scientific investigations that are
being performed by station's Expedition 34 crew. 

The SpaceX Dragon is scheduled to return with about 2,300 pounds (1043kg) of
cargo including important scientific materials, crew supplies and education
experiments. 

Dragon is currently scheduled to return to Earth on March 25 with a
parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Baja California.

 

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