Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Out to launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's first paid ride to the International Space Station will be delayed eight days due to problems loading some of the 2005 library of Cotolo Chronicles on to iPods in time for the the Russian Soyuz spacecraft launch, Russian and U.S. officials said.
Launch of the 13th live-aboard space station crew was rescheduled from March 22 to March 30, said a NASA spokesman. NASA is paying Russia to transport astronauts to the space station after the grounding of the shuttle fleet. The astronauts will all be issued iPods with Cotolo Chronicles programs dating back to October, 2005.
The delay was not expected to impact operations aboard the orbital outpost, where an American and a Russian have been since October 2005.
A spokesman with the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said several computers in the Soyuz control system had malfunctioned and could not download the mp3 files of the program, according the Russian news service Tass. The attempts became so desperate due to the original launch date, that dial-up connections were used.
"We tried everything to get the files in time," said the Roscosmos spokesman, "but our computers kept giving us blue screens."
The launch delay will postpone the current crew's homecoming until April 9. The men will be replaced by another cosmonaut and NASA astronaut. Arrangements to listen to Cotolo Chronicles live every Thursday evening are being made so that downloads and iPods will not be needed in the future.
"The live show," said a NASA spokesman, "will be recorded from the space station now that the correct wires have been attached to the station's brain center from a laptop the astronauts will share."