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Space station computer outage demands spacewalk

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- NASA has ordered spacewalking repairs for a serious computer outage at the International Space Station.

A backup computer for some robotic systems failed Friday. The main computer is fine and the six-man crew is safe, but the malfunction puts next week's supply run in jeopardy.

Mission managers agreed Saturday that a spacewalk is needed to replace the bad computer. But officials want one more day before deciding whether the situation is safe enough in orbit to proceed with Monday's SpaceX launch as planned.

NASA promised to decide Sunday whether to delay the delivery mission.

No date for the spacewalk has been set yet; officials indicated it could occur sometime in the next week or so. The job is among those practiced by the astronauts before flight.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule holds more than 2 tons of station supplies and science experiments at Cape Canaveral. The shipment is already a month late for unrelated reasons.

If the Dragon soars Monday - launch time is 4:58 p.m. EDT - then it would reach the orbiting lab on Wednesday.

Flight controllers want to make sure enough redundancy exists at the space station before committing to the launch.

The bad computer, called an MDM or multiplexer-demultiplexer, is among more than a dozen located on the outside of the space station, used to route commands to various systems.

Officials said the failure has had no impact on the scientific and other work being conducted by the astronauts: three Russians, two Americans and one Japanese.

NASA is paying the California-based SpaceX - Space Exploration Technologies Corp. - as well as Orbital Sciences Corp. of Virginia to deliver space station goods. Russia, Europe and Japan also perform occasional shipments. The U.S. space shuttles carried up the bulk of station equipment until their retirement in 2011.

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erosforte April 13 2014 at 12:55 PM

The world is getting more dangerous and the USA is at the brink of economic caos.
The space program seems not to have goals.
Bring back the USA to stability.

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2 replies
thetruthliveson4ever erosforte April 13 2014 at 1:01 PM

Since you voted for Obama, why are you against his "Fundamental Change" of America?
Barack Obama kept his promise to make this change... ;-o

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rebelrick9 erosforte April 13 2014 at 1:07 PM

Have you taken the time to learn of the modern items you use today as a direct result of the space program? Look up online sometime all the conveniences you use today before you believe such things. You will be surprised.

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John batey April 12 2014 at 11:58 PM

Got to have a space program... where else can out leaders escape to when the screw up earth...their exit plan....

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landslowrance April 13 2014 at 12:32 AM

They say it's a computer problem, but we all know it's Wolowitz's toilet backfiring again.

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Dave April 13 2014 at 12:43 AM

I hope their not running Windows XP.

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2 replies
bckari Dave April 13 2014 at 4:35 AM

or windows 8.0. at least XP got "service pack 3"

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bckari Dave April 13 2014 at 4:46 AM

oh, could be worse, they might be running "Vista."

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1 reply
M bckari April 13 2014 at 7:56 AM

What? No one is going to dis the odd numbered DOS releases?

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dwtomczyk April 13 2014 at 8:16 AM

the idea to fix things in space. how original

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1 reply
Richard dwtomczyk April 13 2014 at 10:53 AM

That service call fee is a killer though.

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Bright Blessings April 13 2014 at 4:42 AM

"Its another Saturday night...."

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1 reply
alfredschrader Bright Blessings April 13 2014 at 5:07 AM

Yeah, or "Dave". "What is it Hal ?" "The com unit is going to fail in 43 hours, Dave"

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cannoneer2 April 13 2014 at 1:02 PM

Since we no longer have the capability to send a man into space, how can NASA "order" anything of the sort?

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alblonie116 April 13 2014 at 10:15 AM

Some people here wrote interesting questions which we think about here all the time..why no proper planning in continuing a manned space program here? that's all..the u.s.certainly has the technology...theres bigger companies than elon musk,or whatever his name is,that built everything before...there could have been an in-expensive back-up to the out of service shuttle...people we know at the cape said the funds were 'Not' being allocated to continue anything,thats what they said.that everyone was being retired early....but it is an interesting question...are the Russians going to continue to co-operate with the u.s.,in the space station,,if the conflict started by the u.s. in Europe expands?...we hate to say it,,but the comments on this aol/huff.,are more interesting that the news write-ups...

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2 replies
Olguita alblonie116 April 13 2014 at 10:57 AM

It's called knowledge!

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brenda.anderson22b alblonie116 April 13 2014 at 11:01 AM

it would have been much less costly to just keep the shuttles flying thru 2016 until their replacement is ready as we are now paying Russia MORE per astronaut than it cost us, 23,000 jobs were lost and outsourced to Russia, and we are paying additional for these supply capsules (democrat donors). Add up the costs and we are paying about 130% of the cost of keeping the shuttles flying and the jobs here n the USA.
Another Obama blunder....

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3 replies
paddleman1928 April 13 2014 at 11:54 AM

good thing the Russians give them a ride to and from the space station.

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1 reply
FRED paddleman1928 April 13 2014 at 12:05 PM

It should embarrass every American to no end. This rat bastard has destroyed our space program the military, housing, jobs, medical, did I forget anything?

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1 reply
steve FRED April 13 2014 at 12:49 PM

the economy

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tdiplaci April 13 2014 at 12:25 PM

Rather than send our borrowed tax dollars to other countries that hate us, why not spend the money on space exploration. I figure there will come a day after the moron Islamists get the nuke bomb, that we will have to live out there. We had better figure out now how to do it. Sad that we have to kiss the Russians asses to get a life to the space station.

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2 replies
robmordecai tdiplaci April 13 2014 at 1:09 PM

That's precisely why we should buy Tesla cars and shares so Elon Musk can make up the funds to get his manned space program going sooner. And maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea if the morons get the nukes and fire one out, this way the civilized world would finally have a reason to wipe them out. I have a feeling this would ultimately be the scenario.

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violetvalerieviolet tdiplaci April 13 2014 at 1:21 PM

personally i think we should concentrate on the mess we have here on earth before we go and mess up outer space

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