Severed Cable Drops Russia's Communication With Space Station
November 14, 2012

Severed Cable Drops Russia’s Communication With Space Station

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

NASA said on Wednesday that a cut found in Russia's communications link with the International Space Station was not serious. The US space agency added that the problem would likely be fixed within an hour, and that it is an occasional issue.

"It is a cut communications cable outside of the mission control center in Moscow. That happened before. It happens from time to time," NASA spokesman Josh Byerly said in a statement to AFP.

"They still have the ability to communicate with the Russian segment (of the ISS) through us. It is what they always do anyway," he said. "So it's not the first time and there is usually no impact and they will be correcting it in the next hour."

Roscomos space agency officials said Russia lost contact with its satellites and could not send commands to the ISS because of the severed cable.

"Our specialists lack the ability to control the civilian satellites or send commands to the Russian segment of the ISS," a source told RIA Novosti.

A source originally said communications have been lost between civilian ground-based tracking, command and control stations, and that it would take 48 hours to fix the problem.

Alexander Semerikov, deputy head of the Earth Monitoring Center, said Russian earth remote sensing satellites will continue to send data to ground control centers.

NASA and Roscosmos confirmed on Wednesday that a cable serving Russia's mission control was cut by construction workers.

Byerly assured that the Russian space program had another ground communications site in operations and was communicating with the space station via NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston without problems.

A Soyuz capsule is planned to detach from the space station on Monday to bring three astronauts back to Earth.