NASA reported that it has restored communications with the International Space Station (ISS) after temporarily losing contact with it for several hours Tuesday morning.
The problem came during a routine software update on the station at 9:45 a. m. EST Tuesday morning, causing “a bit of commotion” at Johnson Space Center in Houston, ABC News reported.
“Flight controllers were in the process of updating the station’s command and control software and were transitioning from the primary computer to the backup computer to complete the software load when the loss of communication occurred,” the agency said in a statement Tuesday.
The communication loss inhibited the crew’s ability to communicate with NASA through its Tracking and Data Relay Satellites.
NASA was able to establish temporary communications with the crew before 11:00 a.m. using ground stations in Russia as the space station flew overhead of them, in much the same manner astronauts used to communicate with the ground in the early days of space exploration.
Commander Kevin Ford reported from the station that the ISS’ status was “fine” and that “the crew was doing well”, said NASA.
The six-person crew on-board the ISS consists of two American astronauts, three Russian cosmonauts and one Canadian.
“The loss in communications is not considered unprecedented, though it is thought to be a cause for concern, officials said”, CNN reported.