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February 19, 2013

Communications Restored to International Space Station

by VOA News

For a few hours this morning, NASA experienced what communications were like early on in the space era after communications went dead on the International Space Station during a routine software upgrade.

From 9:45 a.m. EST until 12:34 p.m. EST, the station was only able to communicate with Earth via ground stations.

"This is the same way they used to do it in the 1960s, with Gemini and Apollo," NASA spokesman Josh Byerly said.

During a flyover of a Russian ground station, Mission Control Houston instructed the crew to connect another computer and restore communications.

"It's not a panicked mood that takes over mission control," Byerly said before communications were fixed. "Anybody's who's been here has seen that."

Once communications were restored, Expedition 34 commander Kevin Ford reported the station was still “flying straight”  and that everyone on board was in “good shape.”

Officials remain concerned about the event even though the loss of communications is not without precedence.

The station is the product of a partnership among 16 nations and carries six laboratories for space research. It has been continuously occupied for over 12 years.