So Much Data, So Little Bandwidth

Scientists on Earth may miss out on a large chunk of data from space probes like Cassini over the next half year, thanks to a failed set of bearings on a huge dish antenna based near Madrid. The ‘scope will need repairing, which will take until early 2007, and that knocks out one third of NASA’s ‘Deep Space Network’, which normally allows us to watch space in any direction at any time. Not all of the data will be lost, but probe mission planners will have to choose carefully and set priorities on the omost important objectives.