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Space station mission fixes orbit problem

March 1, 2013 at 5:54 PM   |   Comments

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., March 1 (UPI) -- NASA says a Dragon capsule that experienced problems in orbit after its launch from Florida Friday morning atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is now back to normal.

SpaceX confirmed all four of Dragon's thruster pods, which had failed to initialize, are up and running, NASA reported.

The capsule, intended to deliver 1,200 pound of cargo to the International Space Station, had shown an anomaly in its thrusters once in orbit, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"It appears that although it reached Earth orbit, Dragon is experiencing some type of problem right now," John Insprucker, Falcon 9 project director, told viewers on SpaceX's live webcast during the launch. "We'll have to learn the nature of what happened."

Shortly after that announcement the live webcast was shut down.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk posted a message on Twitter.

"Issue with Dragon thruster pods. System inhibiting three of four from initializing. About to command inhibit override."

SpaceX has confirmed all four thrusters are now online, and said it would perform ongoing check of Dragon's systems for the next several hours, and perform some orbital maneuvers.

The Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral at 10:10 EST, with the Dragon capsule scheduled to dock with the ISS Saturday.

The next opportunity for Dragon to rendezvous with the space station is early Sunday, if it's determined the spacecraft is in the proper configuration and ready to support an attempt, NASA said.

This is SpaceX's third supply mission to the ISS, following a demonstration mission in May and a first official mission in October.

Topics: Elon Musk
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