SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Goes Well, but Dragon Has a Problem – UPDATE 2

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Goes Well, but Dragon Has a Problem – UPDATE 2

UPDATE 2, March 1, 2013, 4:10 pm ET.   Musk tweeted that all four thruster pods are now working nominally.   Problem thought to have been blockage in oxidizer line or stuck valve.   Berthing with ISS called off for tomorrow, but NASA and SpaceX still optimistic it will occur in due course.

UPDATE, March 1, 2013, 12:10 pm ET.   Musk tweeted that the pressure in one of the other three pods is “trending positive” and the spacecraft’s solar panels now have been deployed.  SpaceX continues to work on the other two pods.

ORIGINAL STORY, March 1, 2013:  The 10:10 am ET launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket went fine today, but shortly after the Dragon spacecraft reached orbit, a problem developed.

SpaceX founder and CTO Elon Musk tweeted that three of Dragon’s four thruster pods did not operate as planned:

Elon Musk@elonmuskIssue with Dragon thruster pods. System inhibiting three of four from initializing. About to command inhibit override.

The company decided to delay deploying the spacecraft’s solar arrays until at least two of the pods were working. 

Musk tweeted around 11:12 am that the company will send an “inhibit override” command to Dragon when it passes over a ground station in Australia very soon.

Check back here for updates as events unfold.

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