New NASA site withstands barrage

NASA home page

NASA launched a revamped version of its Web site at midnight Feb. 1, just nine hours before the high-altitude disintegration of space shuttle Columbia.

Without the upgrades, the popular site (www.nasa.gov) would been overwhelmed by the sudden spike in traffic from visitors seeking news about the shuttle's breakup, said Brian Dunbar, the agency's Internet services manager.

The NASA site, whose system and design dated to 1997, had been running on one server, housed in the basement of the agency's headquarters. AT&T is hosting it now.

"It would have been extremely difficult for anyone to get to us," Dunbar said. "It was an accident of timing."

The redesign had been in the works since the summer as part of NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe's goal to inspire the next generation of space explorers by making the agency's images and stories more accessible.

Following the loss of communication with Columbia, NASA put plain-text information about the breakup in front of its home page, which is now back up. Some visitors may have experienced trouble getting on the site, but it was not overloaded, Dunbar said.

Profiles of the seven crew members who were on-board the shuttle and updates on the investigation are among the information posted online.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.