Know What’s Below

Perhaps the Russians need to institute a "Know What's Below" system so they can avoid little snafus like this one:

Yesterday, at approximately 7:22 p.m., local time, the Moscow's Mission Control experienced something you never want to happen when the mission you're controlling is playing out outside the planet: silence. Complete, utter silence. Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, had lost contact with its satellites — all of them. Which meant, as well, that it had lost contact with the International Space Station, and with the cosmonauts who call it home…

But the space-based silence, it turns out, was the result of a very terrestrial accident: While doing repair work on the Shchyolkovsky Highway outside of Moscow, a construction team severed a cable. And it turned out, unfortunately, to be the cable — the one linking Moscow's Mission Control to the nation's extraterrestrial vehicles and workers.  

And, yes, the one cable. One cable cut, and a country's ability to communicate with its space infrastructure is severed, as well. 

The Russians might want to also consider a system with inherent redundancy, built to withstand disruptions of any one node. That sounds familiar. Ah yes, that whacky thing called the internet.

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