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A cargo spacecraft successfully docked at the International Space Station on Wednesday morning, despite it being built A two-day journey through space with just one working solar panel.
The Cygnus spacecraft of US defense contractor Northrop Grumman, carrying 8,200 pounds of science experiments and supplies for astronauts aboard the International Space Station, lifted off from NASA’s launch site on Wallops Island, Virginia, atop an Antares rocket on Monday.
NASA announced a few hours after Cygnus reached orbit and separated from the rocket, one of the spacecraft’s two solar arrays failed to deploy.
Teams on the ground initially tried to troubleshoot the problem, hoping to open the solar panels, but were unsuccessful, according to an expert. A NASA statement was released Tuesday. NASA and Northrop Grumman, who designed and built the Cygnus capsule, chose to abandon these efforts in order to focus on a safe encounter with the International Space Station, noting that the spacecraft already had enough power to finish its journey. Northrop Grumman did not immediately respond to a request for additional information Tuesday evening.
“The Cygnus team is gathering information on why the second array has not been deployed as planned,” NASA statement Tuesday. He pointed out.
The docking took place at 5.20 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning as the International Space Station was flying over the Indian Ocean.
When the Cygnus capsule approached the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Nicole Man Use the space station’s robotic arm to grab the craft and pull it toward its docking port.
Orbital ATK, an aerospace and defense company acquired Northrop Grumman in 2017, in 2014 together with Elon Musk’s company SpaceX to develop vehicles capable of transporting cargo to the International Space Station. The Cygnus spacecraft has been making routine cargo flights to the International Space Station for years and has 18 successful missions under its belt.
He also had one failure. In 2014, the Antares rocket, also developed by Orbital ATK, exploded shortly after takeoff, The destruction of the spacecraft and the grounding of the Cygnus program for more than a year.
The Cygnus capsule used in this week’s mission was named the SS Sally Ride, in reference to The first American woman to fly into space. NASA said the resupply capsule “will remain on the space station until January before departing for a devastating re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.”
The merchandise on board for this mission includes supplies that will support more than 250 science experiments and other research efforts, according to NASA. They also carry fresh fruits and vegetables for the crew, as well as holiday meals.
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