NASA’s Orion spacecraft experienced a short power problem Sunday (Dec. 4) hours before it successfully completed an important engine burn near the moon.
Onboard power unit Orion spacecraft They turned off four “final power” devices that connect to the Artemis 1 spacecraft’s propulsion and heating subsystems, according to NASA officials. wrote in a statement (Opens in a new tab). The statement stressed that the mission personnel put in place the repair quickly and that the mission is continuing.
“Teams confirmed that the system was intact and successfully resupplyed downstream components,” agency officials wrote in the statement released late Sunday. “There was no power outage to any critical systems, and there were no negative effects on Orion’s navigation or communications.”
Despite the hiccups, Orion appears to be sailing through a Crucial engine burn near the moon on Monday (December 5) to put it on course for a Pacific waterslide on December 11. The problem occurred shortly after a different track burn on Sunday that began at 11:43 AM EST (1643 GMT), and NASA is investigating the cause.
The power glitch was identified shortly after Orion contacted NASA’s Deep Space Network at 1:41 p.m. EDT (1841 GMT) Sunday, following a planned outage. Orion is periodically out of contact with Earth because it flies on the far side of the Moon, where it cannot send signals to antennas on our planet.
NASA engineers aren’t sure if the problem is related to a previous hardware problem, called the current umbilical closure limiters. On the mission’s fifth flight day, about November 21, Sun Eight devices have been unlocked (Opens in a new tab) without command. Officials said at the time that engineers had ordered the device to shut down and had no problem doing so.
Orion is on a journey to iron out kinks like these ahead of its first manned mission, which is expected to be Artemis 2 In 2024 or so. The flight encountered other minor problems, such as temporary malfunctions in the capsule’s RAM and an issue during which Orion lost contact with Earth. for 47 minutes.
However, Artemis 1 has so far canceled all required major mission stages since its November 16 launch.
Elizabeth Howell is co-author of “Why am I taller (Opens in a new tab)? (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book on space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @employee (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @tweet (Opens in a new tab) or Facebook (Opens in a new tab).
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