This morning, at approximately 8:45 a.m. CST (1400 GMT), the International Space Station experienced a loss of communication with the ground. At that time, flight controllers in Houston were updating the software on board the station's flight computers when one of the station's data relay systems malfunctioned.
The primary computer that controls critical space station functions defaulted to a backup computer, but was not allowing the station to communicate with NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellites.
Mission Control Houston was able to communicate with the crew as the space station flew over Russian ground stations before 10 a.m. CST 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.
More details will follow as events warrant.
› Audio: Commander Kevin Ford talks with Mission Control Houston as station passes over Russian ground stations.
Kevin Ford: Just FYI, the station's still flying straight, everybody's in good shape, of course, and nothing unexpected other than lots of caution and warning tones and of course, we have no system insight. We'll get back to you as soon as we can.
Over in the JEM [Japanese Experiment Module], we did have an intra-module ventilation fan failure so the JEM fan bravo just kind of shut down. We looked at a related procedure and it just said for the crew to be cautious and no special action.
But all the systems and power supplies look like they're doing just fine.