Dragon aborts berthing with ISS


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Because the spacecraft had apparently rendezvoused with ISS about 15 minutes early today, the computers on Dragon aborted the berthing, backing off to try again tomorrow.

No explanation as to why the spacecraft arrived so much earlier than expected, though it is reported to be in excellent shape.

Posted above the Gulf of Mexico, which appears very calm today.

8 comments

  • mpthompson

    I had read elsewhere that NASA TV reported wrong GPS data values were uploaded to the Dragon with regards to its or the ISS’s position. No indication of a hardware error anything really serious. Perhaps a SNAFU from the one day launch delay? (My speculation)

    The data errors will be resolved and they will try again tomorrow.

  • LocalFluff

    Geez, just solve the grecmin problem!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCN4rDnm6Ws

    Put this there!
    Humanity wouldn’t have survived without this instinct. And that still might not be enough, look out!

  • wayne

    mpthompson- very interesting.

    LocalFluff-
    Good video.
    -That is actually a very nuanced and complex skill-set. Gets into pattern-recognition, spatial-relationships, and gross vs. fine-motor skill-sets.

    “Inveniam viam aut faciam”

    “I shall either find a way or make one.”
    -attributed to Hannibal

  • pzatchok

    A 40 billion trillion mile trip by an autonomous freighter and NASA is worried why it got there15 minutes early?

    Yes find out why but in the mean time finish the job. Dock that sucker and switch out the cargo. Do what needs done and send it back.

    I swear NASA would slow down paint drying just to watch it and make sure it stuck correctly.

  • Erkforbee

    ” I swear NASA would slow down paint drying just to watch it and make sure it stuck correctly ”
    Well, yes. Paint has failed to stick in space, causing debris. Debris is a Bad Thing near solar panels, telescope lenses, etc.
    Mistakes in space are oft uncorrectable, and very expensive.

  • pzatchok

    So I guess I can ask.

    Why was it showing up 15 minutes early so dangerous that it had to be stopped for a day?
    Putting a whole days work behind just to find out if the ground crews messed up a calculation someplace.

    And I bet they knew it was coming in early for hours before it got close enough to dock.

    This is just NASA passive aggressively denouncing private space again. “See what happens when we are not in charge 100%. They can’t even keep to a simple schedule.”

  • Edward

    pzatchok asked: “Why was it showing up 15 minutes early so dangerous that it had to be stopped for a day?

    Because if something is not behaving correctly, no one knows whether or not the spacecraft is going to ram the space station. Unexpected problems with Progress spacecraft caused close calls with MIR and even caused an actual collision with MIR. If you are not sure why the spacecraft did what it did, then you cannot be sure that it will do what you want it to do. Think of it as being similar to delaying a launch for a day because you have questions regarding a second-stage steering issue.

    An extra day gives them time to determine whether it was a GPS issue and to correct whatever the . NASA will have a hard time complaining about schedule when they are not in charge, because they have had their own schedule problems when they were in charge 100%.

    NASA has had several problems come up when they were in charge, such as water leaking onto the head of an astronaut in a space suit, risking drowning him.

    Erkforbee,
    Debris is also a bad thing just running around in orbit. The window of a Space Shuttle was once struck by a flake of titanium paint. It was not catastrophic, but it was a problem.

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