Shows & Panels
- Accelerate and Streamline for Better Customer Service
- Ask the CIO
- The Big Data Dilemma
- Carrying On with Continuity of Operations
- Client Virtualization Solutions
- Data Protection in a Virtual World
- Expert Voices
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal IT Challenge
- Federal Tech Talk
- Feds in the Cloud
- Health IT: A Policy Change Agent
- Improving Healthcare Outcomes through IT Policy
- IT Innovation in the New Era of Government
- Making Dollars And Sense Out of Data Center Consolidation
- Navigating the Private Cloud
- One Step to the Cloud, Two Steps Toward Innovation
- Path to FDCCI Compliance
- Take Command of Your Mobility Initiative
- Veterans in Private Sector: Making the Transition
Shows & Panels
NASA regains space station contact after outage
Friday - 2/22/2013, 6:36pm EST
AP Science Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The International Space Station regained contact with NASA controllers in Houston after nearly three hours of accidental quiet, the space agency says.
Officials say the six crew members and station are fine and had no problem during the brief outage.
NASA spokesman Josh Byerly said something went wrong around 9:45 a.m. EST Tuesday during a computer software update on the station. The outpost abruptly lost all communication, voice and command from Houston.
Communication was restored less than three hours later, Byerly said
"We've got our command and control back," he said.
Station commander Kevin Ford was able to briefly radio Moscow while the station was flying over Russia.
Normally, NASA communicates with and sends commands to the station from Houston, via three communications satellites that transmit voice, video and data. Such interruptions have happened a few times in the past, the space agency said.
If there is no crisis going on, losing communication with the ground "is not a terrible thing," said former astronaut Jerry Linenger, who was on the Russian space station Mir during a dangerous fire in 1997. "You feel pretty confident up there that you can handle it. You're flying the spacecraft."
Not only should this boost the confidence of the station crew, it's good training for any eventual mission to Mars because there will be times when communications is down or difficult during the much farther voyage, Linenger said.
In the past few weeks the space station had been purposely simulating communications delays and downtimes to see how activity could work for a future Mars mission, Byerly said. This was not part of those tests, but may prove useful, he said.
Seth Borenstein can be followed at http://twitter.com/borenbears
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.