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Nasa briefly loses contact with space station

Published on Feb 20, 2013 6:01 AM
 
 In this Nasa handout image from Feb 16, 2012, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko (left) and Anton Shkaplerov, both Expedition 30 flight engineers, participate in a session of extravehicular activity (EVA) to continue outfitting the International Space Station. The International Space Station briefly lost contact with ground controllers on Feb 19, 2013 because of a computer problem, but its commander said the crew was fine, Nasa said. The glitch lasted just under three hours. The agency initially said flight controllers in Houston were updating software on board the station's flight computers when one of the station's data relay systems broke down. -- FILE PHOTO : AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The International Space Station briefly lost contact with ground controllers on Tuesday because of a computer problem, but its commander said the crew was fine, Nasa said.

The glitch lasted just under three hours. The agency initially said flight controllers in Houston were updating software on board the station's flight computers when one of the station's data relay systems broke down.

The primary computer that controls critical station functions defaulted to a backup computer, but it was not letting the station communicate with Nasa's Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, the US space agency said.

Officials in Houston were later able to communicate briefly with the crew as the space station flew over Russian ground stations. They instructed them to connect a backup computer to begin the process of restoring communications.

 
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