CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — After Monday’s launch to the International Space Station, a Northrop Grumman cargo capsule had trouble with a solar panel.
After the early morning launch from Virginia, only one of the two solar panels on the Cygnus capsule was able to open.
Officials from Northrop Grumman told NASA that there is enough power from the solar panel for Wednesday’s planned rendezvous with the space station, but NASA was still figuring out what was going on.
Dina Contella, who manages the space station for NASA, said it’s too early to know if the capsule would be stable enough for the space station’s robot arm to grab it if the problem keeps happening.
Northrop Grumman sent the capsule into space from Wallops Island, which is near the coast. It was filled with more than 8,200 pounds of equipment and experiments, such as brackets that will be used during upcoming spacewalks to improve the power grid of the space station. It is called the S.S. Sally Ride after the first American woman to go into space. Sally Ride died 10 years ago.
Since 2013, a company in Virginia has been sending packages to the International Space Station. In the 18 times it has been sent out to get supplies, it has only failed once, when it exploded during launch in 2014.
SpaceX is the other delivery service that NASA has hired.