Feeds

SpaceX: 'We have control, it's just a glitch' Musk tells world+dog

Dragon thrusters back online

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Updated The Dragon capsule is ready to flame, with all four boosters operational and ready for firing in an hour or so, SpaceX boss Elon Musk has told a press conference.

The Falcon 9 rocket worked as planned, he said, and fired the Dragon capsule successfully into orbit. But SpaceX found it could only power up one of the four thruster pods on the capsule after separation. The team tried to fix the system as the Dragon flew over Australia, with some success, and its solar panels were deployed.

The Dragon is currently in a decaying orbit around the planet and will fall back to Earth within a day or so, Musk said, but the team now have control of five of the thrusters on pod 1 and four on pod 4. This gives it attitude control for the first time, along with a limited ability to maneuver.

The problem was caused by a blockage in the helium lines that was keeping pressure low in the oxidizers used for thrust. The team "pressure-hammered" the pipes and now has control of all thrust pods, but are waiting to do final checks before firing.

Once the team decides to try for a burn, the capsule will be boosted from its current orbit to around 300km above the planet. When it's in a stable orbit the SpaceX team will face a battery of flight tests before being allowed to proceed.

The capsule will not be permitted to approach the space station until NASA is satisfied that SpaceX has three of its four pods fully operational. As insurance, there are backup plans to get the station out of the way if a collision looks likely.

"We have plans for everything you can imagine," said ISS program manager Michael Suffredini.

There was no danger of the ISS running out of supplies, since NASA stores are based on the assumption that the next flight won't get through, but the loss of any cargo would cause damage to the research goals of the space station.

NASA is satisfied the situation is being resolved he said, and it has a number of days for Dragon to berth – although the available unberthing date slots are tighter. The two organizations have been working closely to fix any issues.

Musk said that the craft could remain in orbit for at least a month while SpaceX and NASA did checks, but that a docking might be ready as soon as Sunday.

"It was a little frightening there," Musk said. "But I don't think this a major problem. It's an anomaly, and it's looking like we're back on track here." ®

Update

The Dragon capsule has completed its first burn and is now safely in its higher orbit.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release
Result? 'Way more carbon being released into the atmosphere as methane'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.