Cargo Ship Reaches Space Station Despite Solar Panel Trouble

After Monday’s launch to the International Space Station, a Northrop Grumman cargo capsule encountered problems with a solar panel.

After the dawn launch from Virginia, only one of the two solar panels on the Cygnus capsule opened successfully.

Officials from Northrop Grumman told NASA that there will be sufficient power from the solar panel for Wednesday’s scheduled rendezvous with the space station, but the space agency was still evaluating the situation.

If the issue remains, NASA’s Dina Contella, a space station manager, said it’s too soon to say if the capsule will be stable enough to be caught by the space station’s robot arm.

With more than 8,200 pounds of instruments and experiments, including brackets required for planned spacewalks to improve the power grid of the space station, Northrop Grumman launched the capsule from Wallops Island’s coast. 

The S.S. Sally Ride was given this name in honour of the first American woman in space, who passed away ten years ago.

Since 2013, the Virginia-based corporation has been delivering goods to the space station. In its prior 18 supply runs, there has only been one failure, a launch explosion in 2014.

NASA also has a delivery service deal with SpaceX.

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