[FPSPACE] Fwd: [lunar-update] Canadarm captures unmanned Dragon capsule

LARRY KLAES ljk4 at msn.com
Mon Mar 4 09:14:57 EST 2013

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-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Kellogg
Sent: 3/4/2013 4:03:45 AM
To: lunar-update at mailman1.altair.com
Subject: [lunar-update] Canadarm captures unmanned Dragon capsule
Canadarm captures unmanned Dragon capsule
Canada's robotic arm on the International Space Station was put to work today when it grabbed a Dragon capsule that arrived at the orbiting space lab.

SpaceX Dragon capsule is seen just after its release from the Canadarm2 in May, 2012

Well the launch went well, then a glitch with some thrusters.  They get purged and work, and just a day delay before the OK to get close enough for the Canadarm2 to grapple and tuck into an Earth facing port.
- LRK -


SpaceX Update: Dragon Now Mated to Space Station

By Phil Plait<http://www.slate.com/authors.phil_plait.html>

 Posted Sunday, March 3, 2013, at 12:17 PM

Well, that was fast! This morning, the SpaceX Dragon capsule was successfully berthed<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/research_rides_dragon.html> to the International Space Station. After all the drama that started this mission<http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/03/01/spacex_dragon_initial_problems_with_thrusters_now_under_control_mission.html>, the successful orbital mating brought cheers-and a sigh of relief-across NASA.

The capsule began maneuvering toward the ISS last night, and took several hours to approach. At 10:31 UTC (05:31 Eastern US time), when it was a few meters away, the astronauts used the Canadarm2-the station's large, articulated robot arm-to grapple the capsule. After a few hours of checkouts, the arm brought Dragon in, and the capsule was berthed at 13:56 UTC (08:56 Eastern).


Success after some suspense.
- LRK -

SpaceX Dragon successfully docks with International Space Station
Will spend the next 22 days attached to the ISS before returning.
by Eric Bangeman<http://arstechnica.com/author/eric-bangeman/> - Mar 3 2013, 10:45am PST
After some issues with its thrusters hours after launch, the SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station. NASA reported that the capsule attached to the Harmony module of the ISS at 8:56am EST Sunday morning, with the door set to be opened on Monday morning.

Dragon took off from Cape Canaveral on Friday morning and reached orbit without a hitch, but a pressure problem prevented the thruster pods from initializing once orbit was attained. The four pods then gradually came online over the course of the day. Two pods are needed to get Dragon to the ISS with a third pod necessary for successfully maneuvering once the station is reached.

Loaded with nearly 1,270 pounds of supplies (575kg, to be exact), Dragon will spend the next 22 days docked with the ISS. On its return, the capsule will carry more than 1,200 kg of cargo, according to NASA. Included in the return payload will be seedlings and metal mixtures that spent time in low gravity, along with biological samples taken from the crew.


SpaceX website.
- LRK -

Dragon is a free-flying, reusable spacecraft developed by SpaceX under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Initiated internally by SpaceX in 2005, the Dragon spacecraft is made up of a pressurized capsule and unpressurized trunk used for Earth to LEO transport of pressurized cargo, unpressurized cargo, and/or crew members.

In May 2012, SpaceX made history when its Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial vehicle in history to successfully attach to the International Space Station. Previously only four governments -- the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Space Agency -- had achieved this challenging technical feat. SpaceX has now begun regular missions to the Space Station, completing its first official resupply mission in October 2012.


Phil Plait again, on some of the problems noted just after launch.
- LRK -

BREAKING: After Initial Problems, SpaceX Dragon Now Looking Good On Orbit

By Phil Plait<http://www.slate.com/authors.phil_plait.html>


Posted Friday, March 1, 2013, at 4:25 PM

A dramatic series of events unfolded this morning shortly after the private commercial company SpaceX launched their Dragon capsule into space. This launch was part of the second of 12 planned missions to bring supplies and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS).

To be clear, things are looking good now, and it looks like the mission will proceed. Just not quite as planned.

Launch, and the Emergence of the Problem

The launch, using the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, was essentially flawless. The rocket performed beautifully and was able to cleanly insert the Dragon capsule into the desired orbit

However, shortly thereafter there was a problem. The first indication was that the solar panels-which provide power to the capsule during the mission-did not deploy as they were supposed to, which should happen about 10 minutes into the flight. There is a battery onboard that can provide power for only 12-14 hours, so this was worrisome.

However, news soon came down that the thrusters on the capsule were not working; the tanks containing the oxidizer (used to ignite the fuel) were not pressurizing correctly. The thrusters are small rockets that can be used to change the orbit of Dragon as well as maneuver it on orbit. These are mission-critical: without them, the mission cannot proceed.


Thanks for looking up with me.
- LRK -

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Research Rides Dragon to the International Space Station

A second contracted flight for the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station will be twice as nice for researchers working with investigations on the orbiting laboratory. While other cargo ships can bring research payloads to the station, only the Dragon and the Russian Soyuz can safely get the cargo home. Scientists in the United States, Canada, France and Japan -- and several high school students -- are awaiting the return of their research studying a wide range of subjects, from plants to liquid crystals.




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