It’s only been a little over a week since a static test fire of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon resulted in what appeared to be the complete destruction of the vehicle. SpaceX and NASA both cited the issue as an “anomaly” and have yet to comment further, but that doesn’t mean SpaceX doesn’t have other work to do.
Unfortunately, another one of SpaceX’s many projects has hit its own snag, but this one definitely wasn’t the company’s fault. In a new update by NASA, the space agency says that SpaceX’s Dragon cargo resupply mission that was supposed to be headed to the International Space Station on May 1st has been pushed back to Friday, May 3rd, at the very earliest due to a power glitch.
The mission, which will be SpaceX’s 17th resupply trip for NASA to the ISS, will be fairly routine. As is typical of such missions, the cargo capsule will be packed with supplies ranging from food and water to scientific experiments and equipment to be used by current and future ISS inhabitants.
Unfortunately, the space station’s power distribution system is acting up, and it will take some time to complete the repairs. NASA explains:
On April 29, the space station team identified an issue with one of the station’s Main Bus Switching Units that distributes power to two of the eight power channels on the station. There are no immediate concerns for the crew or the station. Teams are working on a plan to robotically replace the failed unit and restore full power to the station system. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available. The earliest possible launch opportunity is no earlier than Friday, May 3.
Nothing lasts forever, and the ISS is no exception to that rule. Space station components regularly wear out and have to be replaced or upgraded, so this new wrinkle is nothing for NASA or the astronauts aboard the spacecraft to worry about, but it has led to the delay of SpaceX’s supply run. I
If all goes well, NASA will see the Dragon cargo vessel launch by the end of the week.