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Dragon experiences problems after successful launch
Updated: Fri, Mar 1, 2013, 5:15 PM ET (2215 GMT)
Originally Posted: Fri, Mar 1, 2013, 2:10 PM ET (1910 GMT)
Falcon 9 launch of CRS-2 mission (NASA/KSC) A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft suffered a problem with its thruster system immediately after entering orbit after a launch Friday morning. The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon lifted off on schedule at 10:10 am EST (1510 GMT) from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the Falcon placed the spacecraft into orbit as planned nine minutes later. Almost immediately after spacecraft separation, though, SpaceX reported a problem with the Dragon that prevented it from deploying its solar arrays. In brief statements from the company, as well as from the Twitter feed of its CEO, Elon Musk, SpaceX reported it experienced a propellant valve issue that affected three of four thruster pods. Officials said Friday afternoon that they believed they had resolved a blockage in a pressurant line that caused the thruster problem, and that all four pods were now operating. A planned Saturday arrival of Dragon to the ISS has been postponed to no earlier than Sunday, pending confirmation that the thrusters are working and agreement with NASA that Dragon can safely approach the ISS.
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