Thrusters on Dragon working properly

March 2, 2013 at 3:30 PM
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., March 2 (UPI) -- All of the thrusters on Dragon spacecraft launched by private U.S. company SpaceX are now working properly, officials said.

The spacecraft, which is on a resupply mission to the International Space Station, blasted off Friday from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, RIA Novosti reported.

The launch went smoothly, but when the capsule reached orbit, only one of its four thruster pods activated, reported.

On Saturday, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said that all of the thrusters have been fixed and are functioning properly.

"Thruster pods one through four are now operating nominally," Musk tweeted. "Orbit raising burn successful. Dragon back on track."

The issues with the thrusters prompted NASA to postpone Dragon's docking at the ISS.

"Dragon will not be able to berth at the International Space Station tomorrow as planned," NASA said Friday.

"The next opportunity for Dragon to rendezvous with the International Space Station is early Sunday, if SpaceX and NASA determine the spacecraft is in the proper configuration and ready to support an attempt," NASA said.

When the spacecraft docks at the ISS, 1,268 pounds of supplies for the space station crew and for experiments being conducted aboard the orbiting laboratory will be unloaded, NASA said. Then the crew on the ISS will fill Dragon with 2,668 pounds of experiment samples and equipment that will be sent back to Earth.

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