back to article Cygnus cargo ship makes it to ISS with blanketed solar panel

An Cygnus cargo ship has successfully made it to the International Space Station despite the failure of half its solar panel array. The Cygnus vehicle, built by Northrop Grumman and named S.S. Sally Ride – after the late physicist and first American woman to fly to space in 1983 – was launched atop the company's Antares 230+ …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So tempting to say a space-walking astronaut ought to pop by and unsnag the array.

    For one, to see if they diagnosed the problem correctly. And two, as another demonstration of how useful an onsite visit is from a pair of hands. I gotta think as astronauts they're all help desk qualified.

    Oh heck, the ground crew might be tempted to do a WFH fix using the Canadarm2.

    Is popcorn popped by exposure to vacuum just as tasty?

    1. Jonathan Richards 1

      Tempting indeed...

      ...but not worth the risk to the astronaut, now that the whole Cygnus shebang is a very expensive garbage tub destined for a fiery death on re-entry.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bovine ovarian cells (which could one day improve fertility treatments in space)

    I suppose eventually there might be a first honeymoon in space, and correspondingly a first child conceived in space, although that's likely to be on Blue Horizon or Virgin Galactic.

    1. Sgt_Oddball
      Alien

      Re: bovine ovarian cells (which could one day improve fertility treatments in space)

      Speaking of blue things... I wonder if they've tested the effects of viagra in space? (considering the current ticket price, the current astro-tourists probably need them).

      Alien icon because that's conceivably what the child would be...

      1. ravenviz Silver badge

        Re: bovine ovarian cells (which could one day improve fertility treatments in space)

        We will need a new phrase for “getting it up” as there is no up in space!

        I suppose that also counts for brewer’s droop, when are they doing the booze tests?

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Coat

          Re: bovine ovarian cells (which could one day improve fertility treatments in space)

          We will need a new phrase for “getting it up” as there is no up in space!

          Getting the rocket to the tower.

          Or perhaps - Nominal position achieved. We are go for docking!

          I'll get my spacesuit. The grubby one in the corner there, with the big pockets...

  3. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Human tissue printing?

    "differences between human tissues printed in microgravity and on Earth"

    Is this a reality, or does the reporter mean human prosthetics printing? If it's a reality it would great to be told how it works. Anyone here able to explain?

    1. Francis Boyle

      Re: Human tissue printing?

      It will a while before anyone prints a something like human kidney but 3D bioprinting as it's called is well established. As I understand it simpler tissues like cartilage and skin are currently possible. (Hence the reference to the knee meniscus.)

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Human tissue printing?

        Haven't they printed cartilage and then grown skin over it? I'm sure I read about a partially printed nose being gown then grafted to a burns patient.

  4. steamnut

    Mudflows?

    How does the inclusion of mudflow samples into a zero gravity environment help to understand their post-wildfire flow characteristics?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Mudflows?

      I guess that by testing how it flows without gravity, they can determine how much gravity affects flows, which might allow you to predict how mud would flow down different gradients more accurately.

      Just a guess though.

  5. ravenviz Silver badge

    So how do these cubesats get into the correct orbit? I can’t imagine a spacewalker just sort of chucking them in the general direction!

    1. midgepad

      Down a chute.

      Launches I think 6 at a go

    2. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

      "I can’t imagine a spacewalker just sort of chucking them in the general direction!"

      It did happen once. Chasqui 1 was a cubesat launched by a spacewalking astronaut by gently tossing it into space. Usually cubesats are ejected from a dedicated spring loaded launcher. Google p-pod launcher for a good example.

  6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia

    How many spaceports does Virginia have that this one needs such a specific and distinctive name?

    Or is that there are a number of "regional" spaceports such as North Atlantic and South Atlantic, possibly also in Virginia, with which we may get confused?

    And why "Mid-Atlantic"? Why not West Atlantic? After all, they can't have an East Atlantic space port. That would be in Ireland, the UK, Spain, Portugal, France etc.

    1. Spherical Cow Silver badge

      Re: the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia

      Virginia is in the middle of the US's atlantic coast.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia

        So why not simply "Virginia Spaceport"?

        On the other hand, I may have figured it out. M.A.R.S. Maybe they were being clever, or someone slipped it passed and is quietly sniggering :-)

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia

          Perhaps they're a bit embarrassed by the fact they've been launching from Wallops Field? It's a pretty silly name.

          Although it's now known as Wallops Flight Facility. Maybe it always was?

          Or also possibly they changed the name in embarrassment after they blew up most of the launch facilities with one of their earlier ISS launches. I can't remember if it was them or SpaceX who had a cargo launch explode containing all the astronauts' and cosmonauts' Christmas presents one year. I know both had had one payload go bang.

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