Different problems continue to pop up late in the game, as NASA embarks
on its next three Space Shuttle missions to the International Space Station.
None of them should constitute a “show stopper,” says NASA. But even
optimists admit the development of space station software has been difficult.
Hundreds of software glitches have cropped up, so much so that pessimists
believe delaying the NASA missions could be considered.

Ex-NASA mission control specialist James Oberg outlines the problems,
which include electric power shortages, an electric shock hazard for
space-walking astronauts, and degradation of optical fiber data lines, and he
describes the workarounds being planned.

Contact: James Oberg, 281 337 2838, JamesOberg@aol.com; Alfred Rosenblatt,
212 419 7550, a.rosenblatt@ieee.org.
For faxed copies of the complete article [“NASA’s big push for the space
station,” by James Oberg, Contributing Editor, IEEE Spectrum, November 2000,
pp. 49-54] or to arrange an interview, contact: Nancy T. Hantman, 212 419
7561, n.hantman@ieee.org.