Космический корабль «Орион». Источник изображения: NASA

when assembling the Orion spacecraft for flying around the moon, they found a defect, but decided not to fix it


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reported that during the final assembly of the Orion spacecraft at the Space Center. Kennedy in Florida, engineers have identified a backup link issue on one of the spacecraft’s power and data unit (PDU) communication cards. Replacing the card will increase the risk of damage to the device, while the redundancy inherent in the systems eliminates the defect.

Orion spacecraft. Image source: NASA

Orion spacecraft. Image source: NASA

The Orion, now being assembled in Florida, is intended for unmanned launch next November during the first phase of the Artemis mission (Artemis I). The assembly of the spacecraft came to an end when testing revealed a malfunction of one of the backup channels of the PDU adapters, connecting the Orion’s on-board computer and individual units of the vehicle with data and power channels.

In total, the Orion node control system uses eight PDU cards. Each of the cards has two redundant ones with two redundant channels each. In total, there are eight redundant channels for control and power supply of each node. Except for one, which is now protected by seven reserved channels.

“During troubleshooting, engineers evaluated the ability to ‘use as is’ with a high degree of redundancy available or remove and replace the unit. They determined that due to the limited access to this particular unit, the degree of interference with the overall spacecraft system, and other factors, the risk of collateral damage outweighs the risk of losing one branch of redundancy in a highly redundant system. Therefore, NASA decided to continue preparing the spacecraft for launch. “, – said in a press release from the agency.

At present, the engineers are completing the final assembly of the Orion and are preparing for the transfer of the spacecraft in mid-January from the Operational Control and Measuring Complex. Neil Armstrong at the Payload Center for refueling and preparation for integration with the space launch system. The launch schedule remains the same – November 2021.



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