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

David Portree dsfportree at hotmail.com
Fri Mar 1 19:50:34 EST 2013


My understanding is that they need three pods to approach ISS.  The rocket seems to have worked as planned this time, with no payloads destroyed; now it's Dragon that's playing up.

David S. F. Portree

dsfportree at hotmail.com
dportree at usgs.gov
 
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/beyondapollo/ 
 
http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/people/david-portree
 


 From: pjp961 at svol.net
To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 12:41:50 -0500
Subject: [FPSPACE] SpaceX successfully launches again;	thruster pod valve anomaly delayed Dragon solar panel opening




















>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
     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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