Orion Spacecraft Experiencing Power Issues

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Illustration of NASA’s Orion spacecraft flying through space. Credit: NASA

NASA Artemis I – Flight Day 19: Orion Prepares for Close Lunar Flyby, Teams Investigate Power Supply Issue

On flight day 19 of the Artemis I mission, Orion performed the second return trajectory correction on Sunday, December 4 at 10:43 a.m. CST, using the auxiliary thrusters and increasing the spacecraft’s speed by 1.16 mph (1.71 feet). per second) increased.

Orion experienced a problem with a power conditioning distribution unit (PCDU) shortly after acquiring a signal with the Deep Space Network’s Canberra ground station at 12:41 a.m. CST. In particular, the problem was that four of the latching current limiters responsible for the downstream current suddenly tripped. These lower level switches are connected to the propulsion and heating subsystems. After teams confirmed that the system was OK, they successfully rebooted the downstream components. There was no power outage to critical systems and no adverse effects to Orion’s navigation or communications systems.

Teams are investigating whether a potential contributor to this issue is related to a power configuration test conducted by the flight teams to investigate previous cases of one of eight umbilical current limiters opening without command. The umbilical cord closed successfully each time, and no power loss went to the spacecraft’s avionics.

Orion captures Earth Artemis I Flight Day 19

On the 19th day of the Artemis I mission, Orion will capture Earth with a camera mounted on one of its solar arrays as the spacecraft prepares for its return flight from the moon on Dec. 5, when it will pass about 80 miles (127 km). above the lunar surface. Credit: NASA

The spacecraft obtained additional data using its optical navigation system, a sensitive camera that takes images of the moon and Earth to help orient the spacecraft by looking at the size and position of celestial objects in the images. Engineers also continue to work on plans to achieve several additional test targets during Orion’s journey back to Earth. A host of test targets provide engineers with information about how Orion operates in space, allowing them to validate performance models and learn as much as they can about the spacecraft.

In preparation for Orion’s return to Earth, the team of[{” attribute=””>NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program and the U.S. Navy, who will recover Orion from the Pacific Ocean, completed its final training day at sea, using a mock capsule in the water for divers and small boats to practice open water recovery procedures.

On Monday, December 5, Orion will make its closest approach to the Moon, flying 79.2 miles above the lunar surface. It will perform the return powered flyby burn at 10:43 a.m. CST, which will last about 3 minutes and 27 seconds, changing the velocity of the spacecraft by approximately 655 mph (961 feet per second) or 1,054 km/h (293 meters per second). The return powered flyby is the last large maneuver of the mission, with only smaller trajectory corrections to target Earth remaining.

Live coverage of the close lunar flyby and burn will begin at 8 a.m. CST on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app. During the coverage, lighting will be different than it was during Orion’s initial close lunar flyby on November 21. The spacecraft will lose communications with Earth for approximately 31 minutes beginning at 10:40 a.m. CST, as it flies behind the far side of the Moon.

At 4 p.m. CST on December 5, NASA leaders will discuss the results of the return powered flyby burn and the deployment of recovery assets to sea ahead of Orion’s splashdown on December 11. Live coverage will be available on all NASA channels.

Just after 4:30 p.m. CST on December 4, Orion was traveling 222,213 miles (357,617 km) from Earth and 23,873 miles (38,420 km) from the Moon, cruising at 3,076 mph (4,950 km/h).


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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