Of Course I Still Love You Malfunction Grounds Falcon 9

After an electrical issue on the International Space Station earlier this week prevented the launch of a falcon 9 supply mission on May 1, another electrical fault, this time on SpaceX’s Of Course I Still Love You droneship, caused the Friday launch of the same mission to be scrapped.
Falcon 9 on the launch pad moments before the abort 1 photo
Photo: SpaceX
As the rocket was being fueled with about 15 minutes left before takeoff in the early hours of Friday, the launch was aborted after news of the problem were reported. Separately, a helium leak was detected at the ground site, one the company plans to have fixed by Saturday, when a new attempt has been rescheduled.

The Of Course I Still Love You is Falcon 9's off-shore landing pad.

“Standing down today due to an electrical issue on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship. Teams will also address the ground side helium leak before tomorrow's backup launch opportunity at 2:48 a.m. EDT, 6:48 UTC.,” said SpaceX in a short statement on Twitter.

Friday’s supply mission would have been the 17th performed by Elon Musk's Falcon 9 for NASA, and the second with the same Dragon capsule - the hardware was used before during the 12th launch. The mission is to have three tons of cargo delivered to the astronauts on the space station, including supplies and a host of new experiments.

As said, this is the second time the Falcon 9 departure is postponed on account of electrical failures. On Tuesday, NASA asked for a three-day delay because of an issue with one of the station’s systems.

The available information was that one of the station’s Main Bus Switching Units failed. This unit is responsible for providing power to several of the station’s systems, including the robotic arm normally used to capture capsule like the Dragon as they approach the ISS.

The plan was for the unit to be replaced by means of a robotic operation, and no spacewalk was required.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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