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The Cygnus spacecraft arrives at the ISS with one functional solar array

The Cygnus spacecraft arrives at the ISS with one functional solar array

The Cygnus spacecraft arrives at the ISS with one functional solar array

The Cygnus cargo ship is pictured moments after it was captured by the Canadarm2 robotic arm piloted by NASA astronaut Nicole Mann

The Cygnus spacecraft moments after being captured by Canadarm2.
Image: NASA TV

SS Sally Ride docked safely with the International Space Station after an unusual journey in which one of its two solar arrays failed to activate.

Northrop Grumman’s Expendable Cargo Launched Monday, Nov. 7, carrying 8,200 pounds of cargo to the ISS. However, on the way to the space station in orbit Cygnus capsule failed to activate one of its two solar arrays, collecting energy for its journey through space. “Northrop Grumman Collects Second Array Deployment Data and Works Closely with NASA,” space agency wrote in a blog post on Monday.

Despite having only one fully developed solar array, the Cygnus spacecraft arrived safely at the ISS at 5:20 a.m. ET on Wednesday, according to NASA. blog post. As the cargo capsule approached the station, NASA astronaut Nicole Mann used Canadarm2 robotic arm to grab the vehicle and drive it towards the station pier. This is standard procedure for Cygnus imaging, not the result of a solar panel anomaly.

A graphic showing the updated configuration of the ISS.

A graphic showing the updated configuration of the ISS.
Graphically: NASA

Canada’s 55-foot-long (17-meter) arm has a “hand” that astronauts use to grab onto objects and even the ISS itself. After Mann commanded the robotic arm from inside the ISS, ground controllers took over guiding the capsule and docked it to the station’s Unity module, NASA wrote.

A reason for the malfunction has not yet been disclosed. “To remain focused on the spacecraft’s arrival at the station, Northrop Grumman and NASA made the determination not to deploy the second solar array after initial attempts to deploy it were unsuccessful,” the space agency said.

This is Northrop Grumman’s 18th resupply mission to the ISS as part of its Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA, in which it delivers crew supplies, equipment, and science experiments to the orbiting station. The NG-18 Cygnus spacecraft was named after Sally Ridethe first American woman to arrive space, a feat she accomplished in 1983.

The cargo capsule delivered is diverse load capacity which includes a 3D printer to generate human tissues, an experiment to grow plants in space and the first satellite developed by Uganda and Zimbabwe. The freighter will remain tethered to the ISS until it is ignited disposal in the Earth’s atmosphere in January.

More: The Webb Telescope’s mid-infrared camera is fully back in action after a worrying malfunction



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