NASA and SpaceX postpone Crew Dragon launch

The Dragon launch was to bring two tons of supplies to the ISS as part of a resupply mission.

The Dragon launch was to bring two tons of supplies to the ISS as part of a resupply mission.
Photo: Nasa

The upcoming launch of an unmanned boat SpaceX Dragon to the International Space Station was postponed following a potential propellant leak, in what is a rare glitch for the reliable cargo vehicle.

NASA revealed yesterday that while a team was loading the Dragon cargo ship with propellant, they detected “high vapor readings” of mono-methylhydrazine in the propulsion system. It’s unclear exactly when the readings were picked up, but NASA says the incident happened last weekend.

space agency explained in more detail in its Blog that the fuel and oxidizer have been unloaded from the accused part of the spacecraft to allow further analysis, adding that SpaceX and NASA officials met yesterday to discuss the matter. This means that the launch of the Dragon to the ISS, scheduled for This weekend, was discarded. Wum wum.

“Once the exact source of the elevated readings has been identified and the cause determined, the joint NASA and SpaceX teams will determine and announce a new target launch date,” NASA said on its blog.

The SpaceX Dragon, which entered service 10 years ago, uses Draco thrusters, which rely on MMH fuel and nitrogen tetroxide as the oxidizer, according at SpaceNews. The dragons are equipped with 16 Draco thrusters to maneuver the spacecraft.

Jhe The CRS-25 resupply mission is is expected to deliver more than two tons (1,800 kilograms) of supplies to the International Space Station. Like NASA Remarksthe Dragon spaceship will (eventually) deliver:

new scientific research, supplies and equipment for the international crew, including a study of immune aging and the potential to reverse these effects. One of the main payloads aboard the cargo flight is the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source or EMIT investigation. This tool will identify the composition of mineral dust from arid regions of Earth and analyze dust carried into the atmosphere from deserts to see what effects it has on the planet, advancing NASA data contributions to monitoring. of climate change. It will also carry an investigation of a team of Stanford University students who will test the process of creating a biopolymer soil composite, a concrete alternative, in microgravity.

The current crew aboard the ISS will have to wait for these goodies, and hopefully not much longer.

Last month, SpaceX unveiled the design of its next generation of Starlink Satellites, which will add to CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a constellation of tens of thousands of internet satellites. But Musk’s plans for SpaceX are not without flaws. Last week, Musk announced plans to send a million people on Mars by 2050, which almost certainly won’t happen in the time frame.

After: Musk’s Megarocket will deploy Starlink satellites like a Pez dispenser.

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