The launch of a SpaceX Cargo Dragon spacecraft has been delayed after teams discovered a fault with the International Space Station’s electrical power system. In a statement published on the ISS blog, officials addressed the fault and confirmed that there was “no immediate concerns for the crew or the station.”
SpaceX was due to launch the CRS-17 cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station on May 1. However, NASA has since delayed the launch after early Monday morning teams discovered an issue with the station’s electrical power system. It is believed that the issue was caused by a Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU), which is used to distribute power to two of the station’s eight power channels. Flight controllers are currently working to route power through the remaining six power channels.
Despite the issue, officials are confident it will be resolved soon and have rescheduled the launch to May 3 at 07:11 UTC.
The CRS-17 cargo spacecraft will carry 2,500 kilograms (5,500 pounds) of scientific experiments, equipment and supplies to the Expedition 59 crew aboard the space station. In addition to cargo within the pressurised hold, the spacecraft is also set to carry external cargo including the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-3). The OCO-3 will be installed onto the Japanese Experiment Module-Exposed Facility and will “observe the complex dynamics of the Earth’s atmospheric carbon cycle”.
Following the launch on Friday, the spacecraft will likely rendezvous with the station on Monday after which it will be captured and installed by the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm.