In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream ... At Tech Support - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream ... At Tech Support

If you think it's a pain fixing computers and maintaining a network across a campus, try working with buggy machines in orbit. On deadline, NASA technicians were struggling with a recurring problem in the computers on the International Space Station, which speeds around the Earth at over 17,000 miles per hour, 240 miles straight up.

The problem started Tuesday night, when the station's primary command-and-control computer "basically locked up," according to a NASA spokesman. As of Thursday, a backup machine was online and running the station's operations, while the primary and another backup remained offline.

Diagnosing the bug has been complicated because the error keeps ground control from getting telemetry from the damaged systems, so NASA still doesn't fully understand what's wrong. It seems to be a problem with the chips communicating with their hard drives, says the spokesman. The affected computers were all running software custom-written by ISS manufacturers Boeing Co. and Honeywell International Inc., and operating in Ada, an internationally standardized programming language originally developed by the Department of Defense.

For the time being, neither the station, the docked space shuttle, nor the crew are at risk. But NASA says if the bug isn't fixed, it may keep the shuttle there few extra days and delay Saturday's launch of a Russian supply capsule.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
Commentary
The Growing Security Priority for DevOps and Cloud Migration
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/3/2020
Commentary
Dark Side of AI: How to Make Artificial Intelligence Trustworthy
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  9/15/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll