Cygnus arrived on the area station regardless of an issue with the photo voltaic panels
Up to date at 6:15 p.m. ET with a press release from Northrop Grumman.
WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft arrived on the Worldwide Area Station on Nov. 9 regardless of solely having one in all its two photo voltaic arrays deployed.
The Cygnus spacecraft, on NASA’s NG-18 cargo replenishment mission, arrived on the station and was picked up by the station’s robotic arm at 5:20 a.m. ET. The hand docked the spacecraft to the station’s Unity module two and a half hours later.
An Antares rocket efficiently launched Cygnus on November 7, however hours later NASA reported that one of many two photo voltaic panels didn’t deploy after coming into orbit. Northrup stated the spacecraft had sufficient energy from a single deployed photo voltaic panel to drive the automobile, however NASA engineers stated they’re learning any issues the undeployed battery may need when the spacecraft is captured and docked.
In a press release on Nov. 8, NASA stated it would proceed Cygnus’ strategy to the station. “Northrop Grumman and NASA have determined to not deploy a second photo voltaic cell after preliminary makes an attempt to deploy it have been unsuccessful,” the company stated.
Video from the ISS confirmed that whereas one of many round arrays, designed to deploy like a fan, deployed as anticipated, the opposite appeared to deploy solely barely. “The Cygnus workforce is gathering details about why the second array didn’t deploy as deliberate,” NASA stated.
In a Nov. 9 assertion, Northrop Grumman blamed the array’s failed deployment on particles from the launch. “Throughout rocket stage separation, particles from the Antares acoustic blanket grew to become lodged in one of many Cygnus photo voltaic array mechanisms, stopping it from opening,” stated Cyrus Dalla, Northrop Grumman’s vp and common supervisor of tactical area programs. The corporate didn’t clarify how the particles received into the mechanism, one thing the corporate had not reported throughout earlier Cygnus launches.
Cygnus delivered practically 3,750 kilograms of cargo to the station, together with crew provides, science payloads and gear. That gear features a photo voltaic panel bracket that astronauts Josh Casado and Frank Rubio will set up exterior the station in the course of the Nov. 15 spacewalk as a part of an effort to improve the station’s solar energy programs.
Cygnus is scheduled to stay hooked up to the station till the top of January, when it would depart the station loaded with particles for its damaging return.
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