Two out of three is, well, bad

California. Madrid, Spain. Canberra, Australia. Those are the locations of three large antennas used by the Deep Space Network to “listen” to signals from Space. Madrid is down till January at the earliest. New Scientist SPACE – Key antenna failure threatens Deep Space Network [via NASAwatch]

The Madrid antenna had been scheduled to be out of commission from the end of June until 1 October for routine maintenance, but finding replacements for the damaged bearings means that it will be out of use until at least January 2007.

That could have a significant impact on the Cassini mission, whose close encounters with Saturn and its moons must be scheduled in detail months in advance. Other missions could also be affected — MRO will be making final adjustments to its orbit in the next few months, adding to the overload on the remaining DSN antennas.

2 responses to “Two out of three is, well, bad”

  1. alwin

    And now we know when the aliens will attack us.

    Friggin’ aliens.

  2. Susan A. Kitchens

    Yep. Those aliens KNOW our vulnerabilities. It calls for a new verison of the THX audio ads in movie theatres (the audience is listening):

    The Aliens are Listening.

    fooey. And we are not. At least one-third of the time. Which is, well, the whole point of the original post.