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The crash of Antares and its Cygnus capsule in October has caused the possibility of a water shortage on ISS.
NASA had planned to certify Cygnus to carry water to the space station in early 2015; there were no plans for certifying SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship to do the same. Orbital plans to launch its next Cygnus aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, but that flight is not scheduled until Nov. 19.
Meanwhile, ESA has ended flights of its ATV cargo ship, which was certified to carry water. With the ATV program over and Cygnus off-line, the space station was left with two vehicles capable of carrying water, the Russian Progress and Japanese HTV.
HTV flights are now limited to once per year; the next one is planned for August 17, just over two weeks before ISS would run out of water on Sept. 2 unless it was resupplied by other vehicles. The schedule provided very little margin for error, ASAP said.
Essentially, if either a Progress or Dragon capsule does not bring additional water to the station before August, and the HTV flight fails or is delayed by more than two weeks, the station will run out of water in early September, requiring its evacuation.