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Communications Restored to International Space Station

February 19, 2013

By Gilbert Falso :: 12:54 PM

Houston temporarily loses communications link with Space Station.The communications link between NASA’s ground control center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and the International Space Station (ISS) in orbit around the Earth was taken down for an extended period of time this morning.

Flight controllers on the ground in Houston had been updating software to the station’s flight computers around 8:45 this morning when one of the data relay systems onboard the ISS failed, according to an alert from NASA. Although a backup system was able to assume critical station functions from the primary computer, the ISS lost communication capabilities with NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites.

Houston was able to communicate with the crew when the space station flew over Russia’s ground station just before 10 a.m. The crew then was able to connect to a backup computer and begin restoring communications with U.S. ground control teams.

There are six crew members on board the station at this time — Americans Kevin Ford (mission commander) and Tom Marshburn, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitiskiy, Evgeny Tarelkin and Roman Romanenko, and Canadian Chris Hadfield.

NASA says that as of 12:45 pm, communications have been restored between the ISS and NASA’s satellite relay system.