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Australian airline Virgin Blueannounced over the weekend that it will be "reverting" to its primary operating system beginning tomorrow.  Virgin's CEO John Borghetti said that the problems with its reservation and check-in system that disrupted the travel of over 50,000 of its passengers last week have been identified and are now solved. To implement the changes, the reservation and check-in system needs to be "rebooted" - although Virgin Blue terms the exercise an "upgrade."

Online and telephone reservations services will be unavailable from 2200 AEST today until 0500 AEST on Thursday, 7 October. Passengers will not be able to make new bookings or change or cancel an existing booking while our reservation systems are off-line.

Web check-in, Kiosk check and Check-mate will be unavailable from 2000 AEST today until 0500 AEST on Thursday, 7 October.

All passengers will need to check-in at the airport, and are being advised to arrive at the airport two hours before the scheduled departure for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.

Virgin Blue says all of its flights are scheduled to fly, and hopes the "upgrade" doesn't cause any major delays other than in check-in.

It will be interesting to see how much compensation Virgin Blue will demand from Navitaire which operates Virgin's reservation and check-in system. Too bad Virgin Blue passengers can't demand compensation from it as well.

Update 06 October 2010 1000 EST:

A Sydney Morning Heraldstory today says that the "upgrade" went smoothly and more quickly than expected. However, 16 Virgin flights were cancelled and the passengers had to be placed onto other flights.

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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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