Newly launched SpaceX Dragon CRS-2 has serious thruster fault – UPDATED

by | Mar 1, 2013 | commercial launch services, International Space Station, Seradata News, space station | 0 comments

The SpaceX Dragon CRS-2 cargo capsule was initially successfully launched by an Falcon 9 launch vehicle at 1510 GMT from Cape Canaveral on 1 March 2013.  The initial orbit achieved was 329 x 199km at an inclination of 51.66 degrees.  As part of its NASA funded commercial mission, the spacecraft was then to rendezvous with the International Space Station to be docked after being grappled by the station’s robot arm. However, it has emerged that a thruser anomaly delayed the spacecraft opening its solar arrays and may hinder this rendezvous. 

Elon Musk revealed on his Twitter feed that there was an issue with Dragon thruster pods: The solar arrays have now been deployed but only one pod of thrusters (out of four) is working. 

Comment by David Todd: This is likely to impede orbit raising and rendezvous operations (a minimum of two pods is usually required) and may even prevent an accurate de-orbit burn.  

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