Russia loses contact with ISS

2012-11-14 22:18

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Moscow - Russia on Wednesday lost the ability to send commands to most of its satellites and its segment of the International Space Station following a power cable failure near Moscow.

The Roscosmos space agency attributed the embarrassing malfunction to basic road repair work near the the sprawling Korolyov mission control centre outside Moscow.

Officials said the problem may take 48 hours to fix and could theoretically delay the 19 November return to Earth of three ISS members who are completing their four-month mission on board the floating international space lab.

"We have not had a connection with the ground telemetry stationed in Russia for the past two hours," RIA Novosti quoted an unidentified source in the Russian space industry as saying.

"Our specialists lack the ability to control the civilian satellites or send commands to the Russian segment of the ISS," said the source, while adding the problem could take two days to fix.

"They can see the crew and can talk to them, but they cannot send any commands to the Russian segments."

Russia has suffered a string of failed satellite launches and rocket losses in the past two years that prompted reshuffles at the very top of the country's once-proud space industry.

Underfunding

But the agency has struggled to reform due to chronic underfunding and alleged corruption as well as a long-term inability to replace retiring Soviet-era specialists with fresh talent.

The main subsidiary of Roscosmos is currently the subject of a 6.5 billion ruble ($200m) embezzlement probe that has fanned speculation over possible new sackings at the very top of Russian space command.

Space officials were quick to put a brave face on the latest public relations disaster by stressing that both the satellites and the space stations remained functional even while being out of control.

"The cable tear occurred during the road repair work... and has not impacted the operation of Russian satellites or the International Space Station," Roscosmos spokesperson Alexei Kuznetsov told Interfax.

Another source said that Russia's military satellites were unaffected by the breakdown and continued to function as before.

"What happened is in no way related to the work being done by our specialists with the air and space defence forces," the source told RIA Novosti.

"Communications with the military satellites continue as always," the source said.

The possibility that the cable may take days to fix could delay the return of three astronauts - including current ISS commander Sunita Williams of Nasa and Akihiko Hoshide of Japan - who had been away from Earth since July.

"This communications cable tear could abort our ability to relay the undocking command to the Soyuz capsule," the unnamed space industry source told RIA Novosti.

Russian officials said they were not currently in control of the space station because it was flying over a segment of Earth within reach of the telemetry stations of NASA.

But Roscosmos will take command of the ISS on Thursday morning Moscow time.

"We hope that the cable will be repaired by then," Gennady Raikunov of the scientific institute in charge of Russia's space communications told Interfax.

- SAPA

Read more on:    russia  |  space
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Kenilworth - 09:40 AM
    Road name: M5 Northbound
    DELAYS between Ottery and Kenilworth due to roadworks in the area
  • Thursday Cape Town - 09:35 AM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    DELAYS between Lower Church Street and the Waterfront exit via the Elevated Freeway
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3525.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.