30 Mei 2024

Blind In Space: ISS suffers massive communications blackout because of a power outage

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Blind In Space: ISS suffers massive communications blackout because of a power outage

A massive power outage at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, affected communications with the International Space Station or ISS, rendering the astronauts in space, virtually blind. With help from Russian cosmonauts, they were able to restore comms

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On Tuesday, there was a massive power outage at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, affecting communication with the International Space Station (ISS). Fortunately, the astronauts and the station were not at risk during this incident, according to the Associated Press.

Despite the political tensions between the US and Russia, Roscosmos communication channels allowed ground teams to establish contact with the crew just 20 minutes after the outage began. The backup control systems took over within 90 minutes, which was the first time NASA had to utilize them.

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The space station program manager, Joel Montalbano, assured reporters that the issue was solely a ground problem and didn’t impact the station’s operations. The outage likely occurred due to ongoing work at the Johnson Space Center.

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Interestingly, it’s worth noting that the decades-old space station, which has been showing signs of ageing lately, wasn’t the cause of the problem.

NASA does have a separate backup control centre located miles away from the Johnson Space Center for emergencies. However, since the ISS still had sufficient power, the space agency continued its operations at Mission Control.

Montalbano stated that they would thoroughly investigate the incident, learn from it, and move forward accordingly.