As indicated on the NASA website, during Dragon refueling, an increased concentration of monomethylhydrazine vapors was detected in the isolated part of the low-thrust engine.
The launch of the American cargo ship Cargo Dragon 2 for the purpose of resupply on the International Space Station (ISS) has been postponed indefinitely due to malfunctions in its onboard engine systems. This was reported on the website of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
“NASA and SpaceX cancel the launch of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle scheduled for this week as part of the 25th commercial cargo delivery mission to the ISS,” the statement on the website of the U.S. Space Agency says. Earlier, the launch was postponed from June 9 to June 10.
As indicated on the NASA website, over the weekend, “during Dragon refueling, an increased concentration of monomethylhydrazine vapors was detected in the isolated part of the low-thrust engine” of the ship. NASA specialists were forced to unload fuel and oxidizer for inspections and tests. “As soon as the source and the exact cause of the increased level [of vapors] are established, NASA and SpaceX specialists will determine and announce a new planned launch date,” the statement says.
Earlier it was reported that Dragon should deliver approximately 3 tons of cargo to the ISS: supplies, equipment and materials for various experiments. In particular, equipment for monitoring dust storms on the Earth’s surface, as well as soil microorganisms will go to the station: scientists want to see how they behave in zero gravity. In addition, the ship will bring materials and equipment to study the processes underlying the aging of the immune system, to create a biopolymer composite with the addition of lunar soil, which could be used in the future to build a base on the Earth’s satellite.