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The Truth Behind SpaceX Spacecraft Failure To Dock At Space Station

By Jomar Teves , Feb 23, 2017 03:38 AM EST
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On Wednesday morning, the SpaceX Dragon capsule, carrying 5,500 pounds of cargo, slowly approached the International Space Station. The SpaceX cargo ship was scheduled to arrive at the station around 6 A.M. ET. If everything went as planned, astronauts Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency would use a robotic arm to the station to reach out and grasp the ship, pulling it in and locking hatches with it.

Trouble During The SpaceX Dragon Mission

However, things didn't go as planned. Around 3:25 A.M. ET, as specified by the report coming from NPR, the navigation system on the unmanned Dragon cargo ship has detected an error.

A number was wrong in its GPS software. With that, the ship automatically aborted its mission while it was about three-quarters of a mile away from the International Space Station.

SpaceX Dragon Docking Rescheduled

Because of the failure, the docking has been moved and rescheduled for Thursday morning. NASA TV commentator, Rob Navias, said that everything went well in the launch. However, during the breaking out stage of the rocket, an incorrect value was observed, which is why the team decided to postpone the launch.

Navias then went on to claim that this was an easily correctable issue, as he explained during the live NASA TV stream of the docking attempt. "Dragon itself is in its most excellent shape."

Everything Is Going To Be Fine

Hence, the Dragon will arrive at the International Space Station just a day before a Russian resupply rocket, which launched early Wednesday last week and is set to arrive at the ISS early Friday morning. According to Space.com, the most recent delay is not the first delay for the SpaceX Dragon.

The cargo ship was supposed to launch on Saturday. But that was scrubbed off just 13 seconds before lift off because of an anomaly discovered in the rocket's steering system.

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