Tuesday, February 19, 2013

NASA Loses Communication With International Space Station

NASA's Spot the Station service sends you an email or text message a few hours before the space station passes over your house.

HOUSTON, Texas -- The International Space Station experienced a loss of communication with the ground at approximately 9:45 a.m. EST this morning, according to NASA.  

At that time, flight controllers in Houston were updating the software onboard the station’s flight computers when one of the station’s data relay systems malfunctioned. 

The primary computer that controls critical station functions defaulted to a backup computer, but was not allowing the station to communicate with NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS). 

The TDRS system consists of a constellation of geosynchronous satellites and associated ground systems and operates as a bent pipe communications relay system.

NASA said that Mission Control Houston was able to communicate with the crew as the space station flew over Russian ground stations before 11:00 a.m. EST and instructed the crew to connect a backup computer to begin the process of restoring communications. 

Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford reported that the station’s status was fine and that the crew was doing well. 

UPDATE:  NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston announced that communications have been restored with the space station effective 12:34 PM Eastern Standard Time.


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