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Chicago family keeps tabs on baby, shuttle

No one knows why the baby monitor picks up Atlantis' feed.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published June 15, 2007


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PALATINE, Ill. - An elementary school science teacher in this Chicago suburb doesn't have to turn on the news for an update on NASA's space mission. She just turns on her video baby monitor.

Since Sunday, one of the two channels on Natalie Meilinger's baby monitor has been picking up black-and-white video from inside the space shuttle Atlantis. The other still lets her keep an eye on her baby.

"Whoever has a baby monitor knows what you'll usually see, " Meilinger said. "No one would ever expect this."

Live video of the mission is available on NASA's Web site, so it's possible the monitor is picking up a signal from somewhere.

"It's not coming straight from the shuttle, " NASA spokeswoman Brandi Dean said. "People here think this is very interesting."

Meilinger silenced disbelieving co-workers by bringing in a video of the monitor to show her class on Tuesday, her students' last day of school. At home, 3-month-old Jack and 2-year-old Rachel don't quite understand what their parents are watching.

"I've been addicted to it and keep waiting to see what's next, " Meilinger said.

Summer Infant, the monitor's manufacturer, is investigating what could be causing the transmission, communications director Cindy Barlow said. She said she's never heard of anything similar happening.

"Not even close, " she said. "Gotta love technology."

'Atlantis' may stay another day

While engineers try to determine what caused the failure of Russian computers that control the international space station's orientation and oxygen and water supplies, NASA said it doesn't consider the situation critical. The computers were running briefly Thursday. NASA has not decided whether to extend Atlantis' mission because of the problem, but astronauts began conserving power in case the shuttle has to stay an extra day.

 

'Atlantis' may stay another day

[Last modified June 15, 2007, 01:37:29]


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