There have been some tense moments over the previous couple of days as Northrop Grumman’s NG-18 Cygnus space freighter journeyed to the Worldwide Area Station after an enormous glitch. Solely one of many spacecraft’s two photo voltaic arrays unfurled, however NASA announced the cargo craft had pulled off a profitable docking maneuver on Wednesday morning.

Cygnus is loaded with four tons of {hardware}, crew provides and analysis gear. It launched from Virginia on Monday morning. The ISS crew captured the spacecraft utilizing a robotic arm and put in Cygnus on an obtainable port. 

NASA tweeted a video of the seize that clearly reveals solely one of many spherical photo voltaic arrays open.

NASA announced the photo voltaic array glitch in a brief assertion on Monday, saying Northrop Grumman was gathering information on the second array deployment and dealing intently with the house company to analyze what occurred. Northrop Grumman mentioned the spacecraft had adequate energy to rendezvous with the ISS as scheduled. That evaluation ended up being correct.

The uncrewed cargo craft makes use of fold-out photo voltaic arrays that tuck away throughout launch and later open up like round followers. A Northrop Grumman video from 2015 shows what the method seems to be like.

This specific Cygnus spacecraft is called the S.S. Sally Trip in honor of the primary American lady in house. It is carrying some intriguing experiments associated to 3D-printing human tissue and rising vegetation in microgravity. 

A Cygnus cargo spacecraft would not return to Earth. The crew sometimes packs it up with trash earlier than it undocks, reenters Earth’s ambiance and burns up, like an elaborate rubbish disposal system. The newly arrived Cygnus will keep in residence on the ISS till late January.

Photo voltaic arrays in house may be tough. NASA’s asteroid-focused Lucy spacecraft experienced a problem with absolutely deploying certainly one of its fan-like photo voltaic arrays after it launched in 2021. The spacecraft is continuing on its mission regardless of the difficulty.  

The S.S. Sally Trip has some very precious cargo on board, together with a mounting bracket wanted for an upcoming spacewalk. NASA and Northrop Grumman will proceed to scrutinize the photo voltaic array glitch in hopes of stopping one other challenge on a future mission.

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