Computer Problems Caused NASA to Lose Communication with International Space Station

On Tuesday, NASA lost all but sporadic communications with the International Space Station and it can all be blamed on a computer problem. According to NASA, the computer glitch that blocked communications lasted just under three hours.

The ISS commander said that the space station and crew was fine during the communications blackout.

The communication issues stemmed from a software update that flight controllers in Houston were uploading to the ISS's flight computers. It was during the upload that the space station's data relay system broke down.

Specifically, the primary computer designed to control critical station functions defaulted to a backup computer, however the ISS was unable to communicate.

In order to communicate with ground controllers, the ISS needs to be able to communicate with with the NASA Tracking and Data Relay satellites to communicate with ground controllers.

NASA flight controllers in Houston were able to communicate with the ISS only when the space station flew over Russian ground control stations.

All functions aboard the ISS are said to be normal at this time. Currently, there are six people aboard, including two Americans, three Russians, and a Canadian.