Cygnus Cannot Deploy Solar Array Shortly After Launch

Cygnus Cannot Deploy Solar Array Shortly After Launch

Northrop Grummans' Cygnus spaceship with its cymbal-shaped UltraFlex solar panels.

Northrop Grummans’ Cygnus spaceship with its cymbal-shaped UltraFlex solar panels.
Image: NASA

The Cygnus cargo spacecraft has fled in trouble en route to the International Space Station (ISS), as one of his two solar panels is refuse to bet.

Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft had an early launch on Monday 7 November at 5:32 a.m. ET of Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The Replaceable Freighter carries 8,200 pounds of cargo to the ISS and is expected to arrive at the orbiting space station Wednesday.

underway, the cargo pod experienced a minor malfunction. After breaking free from the Antares missile, Cygnus only managed to get one of his solar panels while the other remained deployed. “Northrop Grumman is collecting data on the deployment of the second array and is working closely with NASA,” says the space agency wrote in brief blog post on Monday.

That being saidNorthrop Grumman has informed NASA that Cygnus, despite only having one functioning solar panel, has enough strength to continue the rest of its journey and meet with the ISS on Wednesday. “NASA is assessing this and the configuration needed for capture and mooring,” NASA added.

The NG-18 resupply mission to the ISS is intended to bring crew supplies, equipment and science experiments to the space station. Cygnus is part of Northrop Grumman’s commercial contract with NASA and will provide cargo resupply missions to the ISS.

The company’s 18th Cygnus spacecraft became the SS Sally Ride in honor of the first American woman to go to space, a feat Ride accomplished in 1983. The cargo capsule carries a diverse payload including a 3D printer for generating human tissues, an experiment with growing plants in space, and the first satellite developed by Uganda and Zimbabwe.

We follow the progress of the Cygnus spacecraft and provide updates as we learn more.

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