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Yesterday, at the beginning of one of the busiest air travel periods in the US, Spirit Airlines' reservation system and web site suffered an outage for several hours. Spirit's reservation system and web site are hosted by Navitaire on its New Skies platform.

As you may recall, Virgin Blue in Australia which also has its reservation system hosted by Navitaire, suffered a major outage in September that required a rebuilding of its system in October. Irish Ryanair also had a similar, but less severe, Navitaire-related reservation and web site outage in September as well.

Virgin Blue is looking at recovering up to $A20 million dollars from Navitaire because of the losses it says it suffered.

According to this story at WDIV-TV in Detroit, Spirit Airlines' outage began very late Tuesday night. While the outage lasted until Wednesday mid-morning, luckily no flights had to be canceled.

A statement by Navitaire said:

"Overnight, a server at Navitaire required maintenance and this appears to have caused the outage of the reservations system that we maintain for Spirit.  This has now been resolved and the system is up and running.  We worked with the client to resolve the situation and support them with their operations in the interim, and we regret any inconvenience that this has caused for Spirit’s passengers."

An issue with a solid state storage device was reportedly the cause of Virgin Blue's problems. There has been no explanation given of the Ryanair outage.

Navitaire is a wholly owned subsidiary of Accenture.

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Two men fix metal rods to a gold-foiled satellite component in a warehouse/clean room environment

Technicians at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems facilities in Redondo Beach, Calif., work on a mockup of the JWST spacecraft bus—home of the observatory’s power, flight, data, and communications systems.


For a deep dive into the engineering behind the James Webb Space Telescope, see our collection of posts here.

When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) reveals its first images on 12 July, they will be the by-product of carefully crafted mirrors and scientific instruments. But all of its data-collecting prowess would be moot without the spacecraft’s communications subsystem.

The Webb’s comms aren’t flashy. Rather, the data and communication systems are designed to be incredibly, unquestionably dependable and reliable. And while some aspects of them are relatively new—it’s the first mission to use Ka-band frequencies for such high data rates so far from Earth, for example—above all else, JWST’s comms provide the foundation upon which JWST’s scientific endeavors sit.

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