Science

NASA has found a power conditioning issue ahead of their Artemis 1 lunar fly-by

Story Highlights
  • On Sunday, December 4, NASA's Orion spacecraft performed its second trajectory correction burn. Unfortunately, there was a malfunction with the power conditioning distribution unit (PCDU) shortly afterward.

On Sunday, December 4, NASA’s Orion spacecraft performed its second trajectory correction burn. Unfortunately, there was a malfunction with the power conditioning distribution unit (PCDU) shortly afterward.

Four of the current limiters on the PCDU, which are responsible for power downstream, were switched off according to NASA. These switches connect to the propulsion and heater subsystems. However, NASA found that Orion’s systems were healthy and successfully re-powered downstream components. This issue had no effect on navigation and communication systems and it did not cause any power interruptions for critical systems.

What is the closest approach of Orion to the Moon? On December 5, Orion will fly 127 kilometers above the lunar surface. A powered return flyby lasting three minutes and 27 seconds will follow this on December 5. The manoeuvre will change the spacecraft’s speed by 1000km per second. After that, small corrections need to be made to take Orion back to Earth.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is sponsoring a livestream showing the lunar flyby on December 5th, at 7.30 pm IST. NASA TV, their website and YouTube have developed videos of it.

Preparations for Orion

Meanwhile, teams from NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems and the Navy completed their final training day. They used a mock space capsule in the water so that divers could practice open-water recovery procedures. Orion is scheduled to splash down in the ocean on Sunday, December 11th.

 

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