SpaceX launches supplies to space station after power delays

SpaceX launched a load of supplies to the International Space Station on Saturday following a pair of power delays.

A Falcon rocket raced into the pre-dawn darkness, carrying a Dragon capsule with 5,500 pounds (2,500 kilograms) of goods. This recycled Dragon—which is making its second space trip—is due to arrive at the orbiting lab Monday.

The delivery is a few days late because of electrical power shortages that cropped up first at the space station, then at SpaceX's rocket-landing platform in the Atlantic. Both problems were quickly resolved with equipment replacements: a power-switching unit in orbit and a generator at sea.

Minutes after liftoff, SpaceX landed its brand new, first-stage booster on the ocean platform a mere 14 miles (22.53 kilometers) offshore, considerably closer than usual with the sonic booms easily heard at the . The booster should have returned to Cape Canaveral, but SpaceX is still cleaning up from the April 20 accident that destroyed an empty crew Dragon capsule.

Earlier this week, Hans Koenigsmann, a SpaceX vice president, said the company still does not know what caused the empty capsule to burst apart in flames on a test stand. The capsule's SuperDraco launch-abort thrusters were just a half-second from firing when the blast occurred.

This first crew capsule had completed a successful test flight, minus a crew, to the space station in March. SpaceX intended to refly the capsule on a launch-abort test in June, ahead of the first flight with astronauts on a new crew Dragon. The schedule is now up in the air, as SpaceX scrambles to identify and correct whatever went wrong.

SpaceX has been restocking the station since 2012. The California-based company is also under contract with NASA, along with Boeing, to transport astronauts to the . It's unclear whether these commercial crew flights will begin this year, given the Dragon accident and Boeing's own delays with its Starliner .

Astronauts have not launched from Cape Canaveral since the last space shuttle mission in 2011, instead riding Russian rockets at a steep cost to NASA.

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User comments

May 04, 2019
Great news for SpaceX. Hopefully, no other 'accidents' occur now and forever. Congratulations to all.

May 05, 2019
SpaceX Research to find a Non Explosive Fuel

If Astronauts have not launched from Cape Canaveral since the space shuttle mission in 2011
Using Russian rockets at a steep cost to NASA.

This implies
that as it is too expensive for NASA
it is too expensive for NASA to build its own rockets
as SpaceX has shown
a rocket module blowing up on the launch pad is a financial obstacle
when SpaceX modules starts carrying passengers
SpaceX cannot afford to foot the cost
as one day
SpaceX will explode into smithereens while docking with this Space Station
obliterating this Space Station
This is inevitable as the explosive fuel Space X is carrying

May 05, 2019

Being that delivery of goods and astronauts to the ISS and landing them safely by SpaceX would render Russian service no longer needed and that income so long paid into Russia's coffers gone, there is a possibility, however slight, that this was sabotage. Russian or Chinese technicians who work for SpaceX OR NASA should be questioned and observed, else it could happen again. But that's the worst case scenario.
As you said, the fuel itself might be too unsafe for manned missions.

May 06, 2019
Aluminium in rockets is problematic

If this is a reused rocket propellant part
that has got damaged in recovery
this does not bode well
everyone remembers the O-Ring fiasco
where a fault developed
where fuel leaked between seals
in an explosive fireball

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