Todays planned shuttle launch will happen with the help of some telecom, back-office and Wi-Fi companies.
Thanks to Nortel Networks and OSS company Pronto Networks, NASAs Mission Command and Telemetry Network will be able to share data among the Space Shuttle Discovery, the International Space Station and NASA operations centers when Discovery launches at 3:51 p.m. Eastern time.
Nortel has deployed backbone routers for the flights communications, as well as a Nortel Mobility Solution at Kennedy Space Center, which includes a Nortel Wireless Mesh Network and an OSS platform from Pronto Networks.
The more than 2,500 journalists expected at the launch will be able to use the wireless network for reporting purposes.
Meanwhile, SBC Yahoo! DSL subscribers are getting behind-the-scenes looks at astronaut training sessions, tours of the International Space Station and more. After Discovery lifts off today, subscribers can follow its mission through ground-tracking cameras that will capture an on-orbit inspection of the Orbiter thermal protection system and other on-orbit repairs.
The seven-member Discovery crew will be the first astronauts to launch since the Columbia shuttle disaster in 2003. They will deliver supplies to the International Space Station; the mission is scheduled to last for 12 days.
“The launch of a space shuttle is a fascinating event for millions of Americans and drives a real craving for new and unique information about the mission, space travel and the astronauts who pioneer them,” says Roger Bornstein, director of marketing for Space Center Houston. “Providing this level of desired information through SBC Yahoo! DSL is a fitting solution to a very curious and hungry audience.”