NASAs International Space Station disrupted by Argentinian taxi driver radio

NASA, the agency that put man on the moon, is yet to figure out how to keep taxi drivers from using the same radio frequencies as astronauts.

Two astronauts conducting a space walk on the International Space Station have reported hearing an Argentinian taxi driver on their radio communications.

It would appear it was the radio at fault, with two Russian cosmonauts exiting their space station and suffering a slight technical error that left a Buenos Aires driver speaking in their ear.

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With the ISS flying over Argentina, it would appear the frequencies used on a taxi cab in the country's capital and that of Russian astronauts were the same.

Just three seconds of interference have poked a hole in NASA's communications trouble, with the American space agency still searching for a permanent solution.

Frequencies used for radio communications are not unlimited and interference is possible, as was the case for the Argentinian taxi driver who hopped on the comms call for a few seconds.

A reporter who picked up on the frequency tweeted: "In the middle of the transmission of the spacewalk, what seems to be a radio taxi in Argentina is heard… or some delivery service?"

The message, a brief slice of NASA's live feed, was translated as "150 did you say, from Irigoyen?"

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It soon turned out the 150 Irigoyen mentioned on stream was an address a taxi driver or delivery driver had asked about, and the frequency meshed into that of an astronaut's comms call.

The interference has not yet been publicly addressed by NASA, which appears to be a small technical problem, Techaint reported.

Sergey Prokopyev and Dimitri Petelin, the two cosmonauts who were on a space walk when the issue was flagged, had been moving a radiator to a recently installed Russian Nauka module.

The Nauka module, a laboratory recently installed on the ISS, had been waiting years for a launch, with plans drafted up as early as 2007 to attach it to the ISS.

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