CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A brand-new commercial cargo ship making its orbital debut experienced navigation system trouble Sunday, and its arrival at the International Space Station was delayed at least two days.
The rendezvous was aborted less than six hours before the scheduled arrival of Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Cygnus capsule, packed with 1,300 pounds of food and clothes for the space station crew.
The company said it already has developed a software repair. The capsule will make another docking attempt Tuesday morning.
Orbital Sciences said the two orbiting vessels established direct contact early Sunday, four days after the Cygnus’ launch from Virginia. But the Cygnus rejected some of the data, which interrupted the entire rendezvous. Until then, everything had been going well.
The problem was traced to a difference in data format in the navigation systems of the two spacecraft, the company said. Otherwise, the Cygnus remains healthy.