Longer Delay for Space Station Delivery Mission - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Longer Delay for Space Station Delivery Mission

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An artist's rendering of Orbital Sciences' unmanned Cygnus cargo spacecraft approaching the International Space Station. (Photo credit: Orbital Sciences Corp.) An artist's rendering of Orbital Sciences' unmanned Cygnus cargo spacecraft approaching the International Space Station. (Photo credit: Orbital Sciences Corp.)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP/WBOC)- A new commercial spaceship will wait all week before aiming again for the International Space Station.

Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Cygnus capsule, which was carried into space by an Antares rocket launched last week from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore, was supposed to have arrived Sunday. But the rendezvous was aborted because of a discrepancy in navigation data between the two vessels.

"Sure, it's a little disappointing but not entirely unexpected.  This is a test, a demonstration mission.  These things pop up, you work the issue and then you go an do it again," said Orbital Sciences Spokesperson Barry Beneski.

The Virginia company has developed and tested a software repair to sync up the two sets of GPS data. But on Monday, NASA and Orbital Sciences agreed to delay this second delivery attempt until at least Saturday. That's because of the time needed to come up with the fix and an impending manned mission from Kazakhstan.

Three astronauts are scheduled to blast off on a Russian rocket Wednesday and arrive at the space station later in the day.

If Cygnus is forced to delay docking with the I.S.S. again, the spacecraft will be able to orbit for an extended time if need be.

"Using its solar rays, it generates its own power.  It's got quite a bit of fuel on board, lots of fuel on board I should say.  And so its power systems, its communications systems, its propulsion systems enable it to stay in orbit for months."

This is the maiden voyage of the Cygnus.

 

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