SpaceX Christmas delivery delayed by communication problem

December 8, 2018 by Marcia Dunn
SpaceX Christmas delivery delayed by communication problem
In this image taken from NASA Television, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft approaches the robotic arm for docking to the International Space Station, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. A communication drop-out has delayed a Christmas delivery at the International Space Station. (NASA TV via AP)

A communication drop-out has delayed a Christmas delivery at the International Space Station.

A SpaceX capsule full of holiday goodies got to within 32 feet (10 meters) of the orbiting complex Saturday. But trouble with a communication satellite network forced a last-minute delay.

For safety, Mission Control ordered the Dragon capsule to back up to the 100-foot (30-meter) point. Communication temporarily dropped out, meanwhile, between the space station and ground controllers.

NASA says there's no reason to think the Dragon still can't berth Saturday, three days after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The trouble is with equipment in New Mexico that serves the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite system. NASA is switching to another TDRS (T-driss) satellite, to get around the problem.

Explore further: NASA communications satellite damaged 3 weeks before launch

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5 / 5 (1) Dec 08, 2018
Where there's a will, there's a way
not rated yet Dec 09, 2018
NASA components have so much redundancy built in that I'm sure they find a way around this.

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