Skip to comments.Orbital Sciences Cargo Capsule Delays Rendezvous With Space Station
Posted on 09/22/2013 9:47:56 AM PDT by BenLurkin
A software problem forced Orbital Sciences Corp. ORB -1.08% to delay Sunday's planned rendezvous of its unmanned cargo capsule with the international space station for at least two days.
The issue cropped up early in the morning as controllers in Virginia were set to monitor the delicate maneuvers that would have taken Orbital's Cygnus spacecraft through the last several hundred yards of its slow approach to the orbiting laboratory, in order for astronauts onboard to use a mechanical arm to grab and secure it. ... Orbital and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said company engineers plan to test a software "patch" and are developing a detailed plan for a second rendezvous early Tuesday. Orbital also said all major subsystems on the spacecraft were operating as expected
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Big things may be ‘weightless’ in orbit, but they still have mass and thus massive inertia.
And a slow orbit is still moving pretty damned fast.
I think that they are taking an abundance of caution here. Given the incredible fragility of present-day spacecraft, there is no thing like a “love tap” between orbiting equipment.
I lived through two teenage drivers. There are few “love taps” on earth either.