SpaceX operational astronaut returns to launch track after "nail polish" delay
30 Octobre, 2020, 14:07 | Auteur: Therese Cote
NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Mike Hopkins and Jaxa (Japanese) astronaut Sochi Noguchi are about to fly in Crew-1. If not off the ground by then, the crew likely would have to wait until after a Russian spacewalk on November 18. This is why SpaceX and NASA pushed the Crew-1's target liftoff date back - initially scheduled for October 31 - to make time to ensure the same problem won't come up when people are sitting on top of the rocket.
Contact us for updates as the mission start date approaches.
A week before the latest briefing, Kathy Lloyders, NASA's manned spaceflight program manager and former commercial crew program manager, revealed in a statement on Twitter that SpaceX was still analyzing the cause of the abortion but had already determined it. Has at least one Crew-1 booster engine. SpaceX is replacing those two engines, as well as another Merlin engine installed on a Falcon 9 that will launch the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean science satellite November 10.
The Falcon 9, carrying a U.S. Space Force Global Positioning System navigation satellite, was not damaged, but the flight was put on hold while engineers worked to pin down what went wrong and what might be needed to prevent additional problems. In the random ups and downs of relatively new Merlin 1D engines, SpaceX finally discovered that the relief valve line provided by a supplier is sometimes filled by a protective Lake Koenigsman compared to "red nail polish".
Despite great caution, SpaceX removed both malfunctioning engines and shipped them to its McGregor, Texas development and testing facility where - somewhat miraculously - to test the initial behavior before the same time.
As a result, the "igniter fluid" used to rotate the turbopump reached the machine too quickly, interrupting the engine start sequence.
After reviewing much of the Merlin data, SpaceX found traces of a similar issue with two of the engines in the first stage of the Crew-1 Falcon 9 - in addition to one Merlin in the first stage of the booster slated to carry the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Earth-observing satellite for NASA and several of its partners on November 10, reports The Verge.
"It's not necessarily bad, but in most cases, you know, it rattles the engine", he said, "and it may cause a little bit of damage on the engine". - And it can cause minor damage to the engine. So in general, you don't want it, you want a good start. If the launch slips a day to November 15, the Crew Dragon would instead take 27.5 hours to dock with the station.
SpaceX and NASA say they sorted out a Hiccups recently seen in a Falcon 9 missile and want to send four astronauts aboard a Crew Dragon spaceship to the International Space Station on November 14th.
In all five cases, the blocked vent lines were found in new Merlin engines that have not yet flown to space.
Koenigsmann said SpaceX is working with the vendor to make sure that the hardware is more thoroughly cleaned and inspected before creating a new engine. The company is also re-evaluating other components that may be vulnerable to similar issues.
In any case, all five engines are being replaced with a thoroughly tested Merlin, known to be free of such blockages.
SpaceX plans to make another attempt to launch its satellite positioning system satellite next Thursday and will launch the Sentinel 6-Michael Freilich Earth Observation Satellite on November 10, sources said.
Possibly built side by side with the faulty GPS III SV04 Falcon 9 Booster B1062 at SpaceX's factory in Hawthorne, California, the Crew-1 Falcon 9 Booster B1061 was often immediately searched for a generalization once the cause of the miscarriage was better understood.
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