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ISS computer glitches delay robot arm handoff
Posted: Thu, Apr 26, 2001, 8:17 AM ET (1217 GMT)
STS-100 patch Problems with computers on board the International Space Station have pushed back work with the station's new robotic arm and could both extend the shuttle Endeavour's mission and delay the launch of space tourist Dennis Tito. Problems with three command and control computers in the U.S. segment of ISS, which first developed Tuesday night and continued during the day Wednesday, prevented the station crew from using the new Canadarm2 to hand over a Spacelab pallet to the shuttle's robot arm, the first such joint use of two robotic arms in space. The computer problems also hampered communications between the station and the Earth and delayed a scheduled reboost of the station by the shuttle's thrusters. By early Thursday the station crew reported some progress restoring the computers; if all goes well they may be able to operate the robot arm later today but may have to wait until Friday. Extended computer problems could force the shuttle to extend its stay at ISS, which in turn could force Russia to delay the launch early Saturday of the Soyuz spacecraft carrying two Russian cosmonauts and American space tourist Dennis Tito. ISS officials want to avoid a situation where both the shuttle and the Soyuz taxi crew are at the station at the same time, and also give the station crew at least a day between the shuttle's departure and the Soyuz's arrival.
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