Russia loses control over its satellites post power cut

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Moscow, Nov 15: A massive power cut here yesterday led to Russia losing control over several of its satellites, RIA Novosti said. According to the news agency, the power cable failure also disrupted contacts between the International Space Station (ISS) and Russian space scientists.

Three astronauts were scheduled to return to Earth on Nov 19 after spending six months on board the ISS but they may have to wait a bit longer due to the power cut, RIA Novosti reported.

"We have not had a connection with the ground telemetry stationed in Russia for the past two hours. Our specialists lack the ability to control the civilian satellites or send commands to the Russian segment of the ISS," a source told the news agency.

"They can see the crew and can talk to them, but they cannot send any commands to the Russian segment," the source rued while clarifying that the power cable failure had not affected military satellites.

"What happened is in no way related to the work being done by our specialists with the air and space defence forces," the source added.

Interfax quoted a regional institute's director who is in charge of satellite communication as saying that routine road repair works seem to have caused the power cable failure. The authorities expressed hope that the power lines would be fixed within 48 hours.

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