NASA, SpaceX launch could be scrapped

Officials at NASA and SpaceX were working through the weekend to see whether they could still safely rocket a cargo capsule to the International Space Station on Monday, despite the failure of one of the backup computers in the system that helps dock the pod in space.

While workers continued to prepare for a Monday afternoon launch, NASA said a final determination would likely come this afternoon.

The deployment of 5,000 pounds of supplies to the space station by SpaceX’s unmanned Falcon 9 rocket has already been delayed a month because of other technical issues.

NASA said Saturday that engineers must determine whether the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm “has enough redundancy” — while one component is offline — to properly catch and hold the supply craft, known as Dragon. The craft would dock on Wednesday if the launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., moves forward as planned.

To fix the backup computer, astronauts need to orchestrate a spacewalk. No date had been scheduled for a spacewalk as of Saturday.

The issue affects a 213-cubic-foot, 50-pound box that runs computer commands to help move the robotic arm along a truss. A routine check on Friday found the problem with the backup computer. The primary computer is working “flawlessly,” NASA said.

The two Americans, one Japanese and three Russians inside the space station are not at risk, NASA said.

About 3,500 pounds of gear and paperwork are expected to be shipped back to Earth once the capsule reaches the station. Since NASA ended the Space Shuttle program, SpaceX of Hawthorne, Calif., has launched two successful resupply missions to the space station as part of a government contract.

More in Local News

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Small fire breaks out at haunted house in Everett

Plastic that was supposed to be noncombustable was sitting next to a hot lightbulb.

Rules of the road for ‘extra-fast pedestrians’ — skateboarders

State traffic law defines them as pedestrians, and yet they are often in the middle of the street.

Distress beacon leads rescuers to Pacific Crest Trail hikers

Two men in their 20s had encountered snow and waited two nights for a helicopter rescue.

City of Everett to give $400K to a nonprofit housing project

The city expects to enter a contract with HopeWorks, an affiliate of Housing Hope.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

The way he walked led to police to Everett murder suspect

Then, witnesses said they had heard the man and an alleged accomplice talking about a robbery.

Most Read