WASHINGTON — A power problem on the International Space Station has postponed the launch of a SpaceX cargo spacecraft by at least two days, pending an effort to fix the issue.
NASA announced April 30 it had asked SpaceX to delay the launch of a Dragon cargo spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket that had been scheduled for May 1. The launch is now scheduled for no earlier than May 3 at 3:11 a.m. Eastern.
The announcement came a day after part of the station’s power system malfunctioned. NASA reported that one of the four main bus switching units stopped working April 29, and efforts to restore its operations were not successful.
The units take power from the station’s solar arrays and route it into eight channels that run through the station. The failed unit means two of those eight channels have no power. “It effectively loses one quarter of the power to the space station,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, during an April 30 presentation to a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board and Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board here.
That failure hasn’t affected operations of the station, he said, but it ...