Science

SpaceX, ISS Fail At Dragon Ship's Attempt To Dock

By Donna Bellevue , Feb 23, 2017 01:56 AM EST
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The SpaceX and the International Space Station have met an obstacle in facilitating the docking of the space company's Dragon spacecraft in the form of a GPS glitch. Elon Musk's space company and NASA attribute the aborted docking to an error in the navigation system which they say can be easily corrected. The unmanned craft is scheduled to try again on Thursday.

Ccarrying about 5,500 pounds of research materials and supplies to the International Space Center, the Dragon capsule is the company's tenth cargo flight with NASA. A statement recently released assures the public that the spacecraft is in excellent shape, and the crew aboard the space station is safe. “There’s no threat to any of the science or cargo aboard,” Rob Navias, NASA spokesman says.

The docking failure of SpaceX's ship to the ISS occurred when Dragon was only seven-tenths of a mile away from the space station. This was when the GPS error was detected, causing the docking attempt to be aborted at 12:25 a.m. Pacific time. Another attempt will be made to finally reach the space station on Thursday morning, the Fortune reports.

The error that was detected in the Dragon’s GPS is correctable. However NASA did not specify what value of the system went wrong. Navias says that the GPS was running well, breaking out of its rendezvous approach when it saw an incorrect value, the Los Angeles Times reports.

On Saturday, the SpaceX mission to ISS, experienced its first small delay due to a potential issue with the Falcon 9 rocket used to propel the Dragon ship into space. However, the Dragon cargo ship successfully launched the next day from NASA's historic Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was the first company-owned spacecraft ever to launch from Kennedy’s pad.

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