Cygnus reaches the area station regardless of the photo voltaic mass drawback
Up to date at 6:15 p.m. Jap with a Northrop Grumman announcement.
WASHINGTON – The Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo spacecraft arrived on the Worldwide House Station on November 9, though solely considered one of its two photo voltaic arrays was deployed.
The Cygnus spacecraft, flying the NG-18 cargo supply mission for NASA, arrived on the station and was captured by the station’s robotic arm at 5:20 a.m. ET. The wing 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 a number of hours later One of the two solar arrays failed to deploy after reaching orbit, NASA said. Northrop stated the spacecraft had sufficient energy from a single deployed photo voltaic array to launch the automobile, however NASA stated engineers are wanting into any issues an undeployed array might need in capturing and touchdown the spacecraft.
NASA stated in a Nov. 8 announcement that it’ll proceed to deliver Cygnus nearer to the station. “Northrop Grumman and NASA have determined to not deploy a second photo voltaic array 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 open like a fan, had deployed as anticipated, the opposite appeared to have opened barely. “The Cygnus workforce is accumulating details about why the second array didn’t deploy as deliberate,” NASA stated.
In a latest assertion on November 9, Northrop Grumman blamed the array’s failed deployment on launch particles. “In the course of the rocket stage separation occasion, particles from the Antares acoustic blanket lodged in one of many Cygnus photo voltaic array mechanisms, stopping it from opening,” stated Cyrus Dala, Northrop Grumman’s vp and normal supervisor of tactical area programs. The corporate didn’t clarify how the particles obtained into the mechanism, which the corporate has not reported occurred in earlier Cygnus launches.
Cygnus delivered about 3,750 kilograms of cargo to the station, together with crew provides, scientific cargo and gear. That gear features a photo voltaic array bracket that astronauts Josh Casada and Frank Rubio will deploy outdoors the station throughout a 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 late January, when it’s going to depart the station loaded with particles for a harmful re-entry.