How PG&E’s power shutdown threatened a NASA mission

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‘Here’s an update on the impact of the power shutdown,’ it began. ‘Overall, we are not optimistic we can pull this off but we are working as hard as we can to make it happen, if everything falls our way.’

If PG&E’s power outage went as planned, it would not only close schools, spoil stores of ice and food supplies and darken thousands of homes, it would also disconnect the UC Berkeley lab. The team, which built NASA’S ICON satellite, needed power to monitor its scheduled takeoff Wednesday at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

As cities braced for PG&E’s mass preemptive power shutdown, the director of mission control headed out to buy extension cords. How PG&E's power shutdown threatened a NASA mission ... team, which built NASA’S ICON satellite, needed power to monitor its scheduled takeoff Wednesday at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. As cities braced for PG&E’s mass preemptive power shutdown, the director of mission control headed out to buy extension cords. So began a DIY effort to jerry-rig the science lab and keep the fallout from PG&E’s outages confined to Earth.

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Publisher: The Mercury News
Date: 2019-10-12T13:00:31+00:00
Twitter: @mercnews
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How PG&E’s power shutdown threatened a NASA mission

‘I said, get over to Home Depot and buy some stuff,’ said Steven Beckwith, director of the Space Sciences Lab and a professor of astronomy at Cal. ‘We were concerned we would have to scrub the launch.’

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By 3:48 p.m., James Sampson, chief of facilities at the Berkeley lab, and Manfred Bester, the head of ICON’s mission control operations, were on their way out of the store, pushing a shopping cart stuffed with $1,000 worth of electrical cords for a $175 million satellite. How PG&E’s power shutdown threatened a NASA mission PG&E’s power shutdown threatened a NASA mission “Sometimes you only get a box of band aids and rubberbands. That was the case here.” ... A New York Times photographer, captured the moment: A mustached, tattooed man with a serious look, pushing a cart stuffed with extension chords, his bespectacled companion looking on with a smirk, like they were sharing an inside joke.

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Publisher: East Bay Times
Date: 2019-10-12T13:00:31+00:00
Twitter: @eastbaytimes
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Mistrust swirls among PG&E customers as power shutdown enters 3rd day

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) ‘ Winds gusted dangerously in parts of northern and central California during PG&E’s planned power shutdown before weather conditions eased and customers’ lights began to flicker back on.

By Friday morning, the threats of wildfires sparking from PG&E equipment had subsided, and power was restored to more than half of the 2 million residents who lost electricity Wednesday.

But PG&E continues to weather hostility in the power shutdown’s aftermath from skeptics questioning the utilities’ competence and motivations. How to survive PG&E’s planned power shutdown – Santa Cruz ... has warned residents in the Bay Area and parts of Northern California that it plans to shut off power in certain counties starting early Wednesday morning because of high fire risk due to... The majority of critics said PG&E needs to do a better job of upgrading equipment to decrease safety hazards like transmission lines toppling to the ground.

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