Solar panel malfunction on Northrop Grumman cargo capsule

(ORDO NEWS) — Northrop Grumman’s cargo capsule has problems with its solar panel. Only one of the two solar panels on the Cygnus capsule successfully opened after launching from the spaceport in Virginia on Monday.

Northrop Grumman officials have assured NASA that the power from a single panel is sufficient for Wednesday’s scheduled rendezvous with the International Space Station, but the space agency is still evaluating the situation.

Dina Contella, manager of the ISS, said it is too early to tell if the capsule will be stable enough to be gripped by a robotic arm.

Northrop Grumman launched the capsule from offshore Wallops Island with more than 3,800 kg of equipment and experiments, including brackets needed for upcoming spacewalks to upgrade the space station’s power grid.

The cargo capsule was named SS Sally Ride in honor of the first American woman in space.

Northrop Grumman, based in Virginia, has been sending cargo to the space station since 2013. In the previous 18 deliveries, there was only one failure – an explosion at launch in 2014.


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