Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Satellite in Lower Orbit Than Planned; Dragon Performing Well

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida - The ORBCOMM satellite aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle did not reach its intended orbit, the satellite manufacture said Monday.

According to an ORBCOMM release, "The OG2 prototype satellite, flying as a secondary payload on this mission, was separated from the Falcon 9 launch vehicle at approximately 9:00 pm EST. However, due to an anomaly on one of the Falcon 9’s first stage engines, the rocket did not comply with a pre-planned International Space Station (ISS) safety gate to allow it to execute the second burn. For this reason, the OG2 prototype satellite was deployed into an orbit that was lower than intended.

"ORBCOMM and Sierra Nevada Corporation engineers have been in contact with the satellite and are working to determine if and the extent to which the orbit can be raised to an operational orbit using the satellite’s on-board propulsion system."

Meanwhile, all systems on the Dragon spacecraft are performing nominally, according to SpaceX.

"Dragon spent yesterday executing a series of burns and is currently catching up to the International Space Station.  The spacecraft is expected to begin its approach to the station on October 10, where it will be grappled and berthed by Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams of NASA," said Katherine Nelson.

"We are currently on target for the astronauts to perform the arm grab between roughly 7-7:30AM ET / 4-4:30AM PT; however, this time is variable based upon the GO/NOGO and Hold times from the flight director and status of the vehicle."

ORBCOMM Inc. is a global satellite data communications company focused on two-way Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications.

1 comment:

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