Space Station Power Issue Delays SpaceX Cargo Mission

Space Station Power Issue Delays SpaceX Cargo Mission
The International Space Station photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking. Credit: NASA

A power issue onboard the Space Station resulted in a launch delay of the upcoming SpaceX cargo Dragon mission, originally scheduled for early morning May 1. The resupply mission is now expected to launch no earlier than May 3rd, 2019, according to NASA.

On Monday, NASA reported that the International Space Station (ISS) experienced a power issue. Space Station teams on the ground are working the problem, which was identified to be a failed Main Bus Switching Unit. The MBSUs power the station's eight power channels, but only two of the eight channels are affected.

SPARTAN Console ISS Power Display | Cosmic Chicago | #ISS #SpaceStation #NASA #CosmicChicago

An example display of the power channels for the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

The loss of power impacts crew ability to grapple visiting vehicles with the station's robotic arm, called Canadarm. While the arm is able to operate with just the one source of power that it currently has, NASA requires both sources of power to function for Station captures.

Canadarm Grapples SpaceX Crew Dragon | Cosmic Chicago | #SpaceX #SpaceStation #CosmicChicago

A view of the Space Station's robotic arm grappling the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle. Credit: NASA

The power issues do not put Station crew or the Space Station itself in any danger. Expedition 59 crewmembers, Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques, Nick Hague, Christina Koch, Alexey Ochinin, and Oleg Kononenko continued work on space science research, robotics testing, and space manufacturing experimentation throughout the day.

SpaceX Cargo Dragon resupply mission 17 is launching crew supplies, station hardware and research materials for over 250 space science and research investigations that will be carried out by the crew.

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