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ISS computer problem could delay Dragon launch
Posted: Sat, Apr 12, 2014, 8:19 AM ET (1219 GMT)
A malfunctioning backup computer on the International Space Station could require a spacewalk to repair it and delay Monday's scheduled launch of a Dragon cargo spacecraft. NASA announced Friday evening that a backup computer, called a Multiplexer-Demultiplexer (MDM), mounted on the exterior of the station is not responding to commands. If ongoing efforts by engineers on the ground to troubleshoot the computer fail, the agency said a spacewalk would be needed to replace it. The malfunctioning MDM serves as a backup to other computers to support robotic systems on the station. That could affect Monday's scheduled launch of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft to the station, as the station's robotic arm is used by crewmembers to grapple the spacecraft when it arrives at the station and berths it to the station's docking port. The failure of the MDM does not affect the safety of the station's six-person crew.
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