Massive power outage delays SpaceX mission

A massive power outage has delayed a SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station.

The mission was scheduled to launch today, but a malfunction on the space station on Monday has knocked two power channels offline.

There are six power channels which are still functioning properly according to NASA, but because of the lack of power SpaceX can’t launch until Friday at the earliest.

The station and the astronauts on board it are safe, and not considered to be in danger.

However, the breakdown means that the big robot arm, known as Canadarm2, with just a single working power channel when it needs two to work.

The International Space Station is stationed more than 250 mils above the Earth. Pic: NASA
Image: Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are safe

Canadarm2 is used to capture spacecraft which visit the space station, such as the Dragon cargo capsule which SpaceX intends to send.

Fortunately there is a spare unit already on board the space station, and flight controllers will use the robot arm to replace the malfunctioning unit – saving the astronauts from a space walk.

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The delay follows the unconnected malfunction during a launchpad test of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicle – intended to one day fly astronauts to the International Space Station – which ended in flames.

SpaceX's Dragon capsule appeared to explode in a video. Pic: @Astronut099
Image: SpaceX’s Dragon capsule appeared to explode in a video. Pic: @Astronut099

Both SpaceX and NASA have said very little about the incident, which was captured in an unverified but convincing video, although they confirmed an incident took place.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that the space agency had been notified about the incident.

“This is why we test. We will learn, make the necessary adjustments and safely move forward with our Commercial Crew Program,” he said.

Source: SKY NEWS

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