A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft successfully made its way to the International Space Station (ISS), with approximately 5,500 lbs of NASA cargo …
SpaceX recently confirmed that its Dragon capsule meant to carry crew to the ISS was destroyed in a test last month, but things seem to be going better for the company’s supply launches. On this trip, SpaceX carried significantly more tonnage than it did on its first supply run, in which its Crew Dragon delivered 400 lbs of supplies and a human-shaped Ripley test device. The science experiments included on this mission will allow astronauts to measure Earth’s CO2 from space, explore how microalgae might improve recycling aboard the space station, speed up “organ on chip” experiments and study regolith — the dusty, fragmented debris covering asteroids and moons.
This mission suggests SpaceX is pushing ahead, despite the loss of its Crew Dragon capsule. The company has said it still plans to send another, crewed capsule to the ISS — though we don’t know when that will happen.
SpaceX launched a load of supplies to the International Space Station on Saturday following a pair of unusual power delays. The launch came two …
SpaceX launched a load of supplies to the International Space Station on Saturday following a pair of unusual power delays. The launch came two days after the company confirmed its crew capsule was destroyed in ground testing two weeks ago and conceded that the accident is “not great news” for its effort to launch astronauts this year.
A Falcon rocket raced into the pre-dawn darkness, carrying a Dragon capsule with 5,500 pounds (2,500 kilograms) of goods. This recycled Dragon — which is making its second space trip — is due to arrive at the orbiting lab Monday.
The booster, meanwhile, streaked to a smooth landing on a recovery ship just offshore.
“This is usually a routine task for SpaceX,” CNN reported. “But the latest launch, originally scheduled for earlier this week, was plagued by unusual hangups on its path to the launch pad, including a rare electrical issue aboard the space station.”
SpaceX couldn’t resist the Star Wars Day connection — Saturday is May 4, the unofficial Star Wars holiday, i.e. “May the Fourth be with you.”
“Dragon is now officially on the way to the space station,” the SpaceX launch commentator announced once the capsule reached orbit and its solar wings unfurled. “Until next time, May the Fourth be with you.”
The Dragon spacecraft is capable of carrying up to 7 passengers to and from Earth orbit, and beyond, according to SpaceX. The pressurized section of the capsule is designed to carry both people and environmentally sensitive cargo. Towards the base of the capsule and contained within the nose cone are the Draco thrusters, which allow for orbital maneuvering.
Dragon’s trunk not only carries unpressurized cargo but also supports the spacecraft during ascent. The trunk remains attached to Dragon until shortly before reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, the company adds.
The Saturday delivery is a few days late because of electrical power shortages that cropped up first at the space station, then at SpaceX’s rocket-landing platform in the Atlantic. Both problems were quickly resolved with equipment replacements: a power-switching unit in orbit and a generator at sea.
Minutes after liftoff, SpaceX landed its brand new, first-stage booster on the ocean platform roughly 10 miles (16 kilometers) off the coast, considerably closer than usual with the sonic booms easily heard at the launch site.
“That looked really, really cool in the night sky,” said Hans Koenigsmann, a SpaceX vice president who left his launch control seat to run outside and watch.
The booster likely will be reused for SpaceX’s next station supply run. That’s why the company and NASA halted Friday’s countdown at the last minute — so the recovery ship could be repaired and have full power for the landing operation. It was the first time a launch like this was nixed by rocket-landing concerns.
The booster should have returned to Cape Canaveral, but SpaceX is still cleaning up from the April 20 accident that destroyed an empty crew Dragon capsule.
Koenigsmann said earlier this week the company still does not know what caused the empty capsule to burst apart in flames on a test stand. The capsule’s SuperDraco launch-abort thrusters were just a half-second from firing when the blast occurred.
This first crew capsule had completed a successful test flight, minus a crew, to the space station in March. SpaceX intended to refly the capsule on a launch-abort test in June, ahead of the first flight with astronauts on a new crew Dragon. The schedule is now up in the air, as SpaceX scrambles to identify and correct whatever went wrong.
SpaceX has been restocking the station since 2012.
This latest cargo Dragon — making the company’s 17th shipment — is carrying equipment and experiments for the six space station astronauts, including an instrument to monitor carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere.
The California-based company is also under contract with NASA, along with Boeing, to transport astronauts to the space station. It’s unclear whether these commercial crew flights will begin this year, given the Dragon accident and Boeing’s own delays with its Starliner capsule.
Astronauts have not launched from Cape Canaveral since the last space shuttle mission in 2011, instead riding Russian rockets at a steep cost to NASA.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX recently confirmed that the explosion that happened during a static wire testing a few weeks ago destroyed the agency’s Crew …
Elon Musk’s SpaceX recently confirmed that the explosion that happened during a static wire testing a few weeks ago destroyed the agency’s Crew Dragon capsule.
According to CNN, SpaceX vice president for mission assurance Hans Koenigsmann gave the statement during a presscon regarding a separate SpaceX mission. Koenigsmann said that the explosion was likely linked to the firing of the Crew Dragon’s SuperDraco engines. This part of the capsule was placed as part of the spacecraft’s emergency escape system.
SpaceX Crew Dragon was slated to be the company’s first spacecraft to carry human passengers. It had a great start this year when it successfully docked in the International Space Station without any assistance.
Musk’s space agency was supposed to conduct the second phase of the demos that already includes human occupants. Because of the explosion, there’s a further delay to the mission. Crew Dragon was supposed to bring NASA astronauts to the ISS this year.
The explosion on April 20 happened while the Crew Dragon was going through a “series of engine tests” at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The event was said to have occurred during the final stages of testing.
During the explosion, people can actually see thick plumes of smoke rising into the Florida sky. It sparked concerns among witnesses as the explosion was said to be so big people thought it was a security issue.
SpaceX didn’t provide any initial statements, tagging the event only as an “anomaly.” Musk himself, who is known to be vocal and someone who loves to update followers about SpaceX on Twitter, has been eerily quiet days after the explosion.
After the event, leaked footage of the testing also appeared online. Memos confirming the video’s authenticity was said to have been obtained by the Orlando Sentinel and it didn’t bode well for both SpaceX and NASA.
NASA had high hopes for Crew Dragon because it has been years since America last brought U.S. astronauts to space onboard its own spaceship. The space agency had to rely mostly on hitching a very expensive ride with the Russians just to reach the ISS.
SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo 2 is said to be scheduled this July. Pictured: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard takes off during the Demo-1 mission, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 2, 2019. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
NASA has planned to launch a supply run on Wednesday for the International Space Station. Unfortunately, the ISS had some problems with an old …
NASA has planned to launch a supply run on Wednesday for the International Space Station. Unfortunately, the ISS had some problems with an old power-switching unit that knocked two power channels offline and has delayed the transport. After this power shortage that has happened Monday, six power channels have remained working regularly. What will happen with SpaceX supply run because of this power shortage on the ISS?
However, the space station and the crew are safe; don’t need to worry about that! NASA is planning to replace the failed unit and to restore full power on the International Space Station, and, until then the SpaceX launch will be postponed until Friday. The purpose is to restore the hobbled solar-power before they send the SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule.
Major Power Shortage Is Delaying the Supply Run to the ISS
One of the components of the International Space Station is the robotic arm from outside the station. This breakdown has affected the robotic arm and has left the machinery with one functional power channel instead of two. The robotic arm is functioning with both channels; one is used as a backup, so the robotic arm can capture the spacecraft that are visiting ISS.
Despite that, the astronauts will use flight controllers to use the robotic arm for replacing the damaged unit, so in that way, the crew won’t go out the station. Luckily, the astronauts have supplies for now, because just two weeks ago, Northrop Grumman made a visit to the station. Still, the problem with breakdowns is dangerous, because a serious one can affect the operations. All the electricity that supplies the entire space station is coming from the solar wings that are collecting and generating power.
Finally, SpaceX still has some problems with the new Dragon capsule that has the mission to carry supplies for the International Space Station. But during a test, the spacecraft was engulfed in flames. Both NASA and SpaceX haven’t declared official details about the problem, and we can guess that this problem will delay a future launch of the crew Dragon.
Karen and her husband live on a plot of land in British Columbia. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. They are also currently planning a move to a small cabin they hand built. Karen’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Thus sprung Anna’s interest in backyard gardening, chicken and goat keeping, recycling and self-sufficiency.