"Issue with Dragon thruster pods. System inhibiting three of four from initializing. About to command inhibit override."
The second SpaceX cargo resupply mission with Dragon to the International Space Station was launched on the final Falcon 9v1.0 vehicle on 1 March 2013 in a picture-perfect launch with excellent performance from the rocket at 15:10 UTC. The launch was initially delayed due to the investigation into unexpected engine failure on the previous CRS-1 flight. The vehicle was shipped to Cape Canaveral by December 2012, and a static fire occurred on 25 February.
Following a successful launch, problems immediately became apparent with Dragon, mainly involving its propulsion system. The vehicle detected insufficient pressurization of its thruster pods (which are fueled by Nitrogen Tetroxide), causing the flight computers to place the vehicle into a passive abort mode. This disabled its attitude control system and the deployment of the solar arrays. Providing live updates to Twitter as the problem unraveled, Musk mentioned they would attempt to override the system - which succeeded. Once two of the four thruster pods had been activated, the solar arrays deployed. A third thruster pod, followed by the final fourth - was then brought online. Once recovered, the only lasting effect was a delay in berthing the vehicle from 2 December to 3 December.
Dragon carried 677kg of pressurized cargo to the ISS, and took another 1370kg, the largest total transfer so far. Also included was 275kg of unpressurized cargo and another 100kg of mating adapters. This cargo consisted of two Heat Rejection Subsystem Grapple Fixtures (HRSGFs), which are essentially bars to be attached to the ISS radiators to allow for future movement work. This was the first use of Dragon's trunk.
Dragon stayed berthed to the ISS for over 22 days 18 hours, setting a new Dragon duration record in space. After this, the Falcon 9v1.0 vehicle was retired to make way for the new, more powerful Falcon 9v1.1.
You might also like:
Elon Musk: 10 Lessons In Business, Innovation And Entrepreneurship From The Self-Made Billionaire And Visionary (Tesla, SpaceX, And The Quest For A Fantastic Future)