Hurricane in Space

Sep 11, 2008 6:24pm

The cloud tops of Hurricane Ike hardly reach that high, but as the storm closes in on the Texas coast, its effects have already been felt 220 miles up. Even NASA knows better than to mess with Ike.  Mission control for the International Space Station, in Houston, is shutting down.  Engineers have been sent to a hotel near Austin, where they’ve set up a temporary control room — with laptops and a high-speed Internet connection. It’s less makeshift than it sounds, we’re told.  But until the storm passes, there’s a Russian Progress supply ship, originally scheduled to dock with the station on Friday, that will park in a nearby orbit and wait until at least Wednesday.  More HERE from NASA. One wag points out that if the station can literally be controlled from a hotel, that’s a good sign for aspiring private-enterprise space ventures, which hope to fly missions on budgets much smaller than NASA’s.

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