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NASA Briefly Loses Contact With International Space Station, Uses Backup System For First Time Ever

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NASA Briefly Loses Contact With International Space Station, Uses Backup System For First Time Ever

90 minutes after the outage, backup control systems moved in

NASA on Tuesday briefly lost contact with the International Space Station due to a power outage at the agency’s mission control in Houston. According to The Independent, NASA could not send commands or any voice from the ground to the astronauts aboard the space station during this period.

“Around 9 a.m., a power issue in Mission Control Houston resulted in the loss of command, telemetry, and voice from the ground to the International Space Station,” NASA said.

The crew on the space station was informed of the issue via Russian communication systems within 20 minutes of the outage. 90 minutes after the outage, backup control systems moved in.

Notably, this marks the first time that the space agency had to rely on backup control systems.

The issue put neither the astronauts nor the station in any danger at any point and the backup systems took over to restore normal communications within 90 minutes, Space Station program manager Joel said.

The power outage, according to the agency, was due to upgrade work underway in the building at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

 “It wasn’t an issue on board. That was purely a ground problem. We’ll better understand what happened and then take lessons learned and move forward,” Mr. Montalbano said, as per a report by The Guardian.

“We knew this work was going on, and in preparation for that we have the backup command and control system that we would use if we have to close the centre for a weather emergency, especially important during the hurricane season,” he added.

NASA maintains a backup control center miles from Houston in the event of a hurricane or other disaster requiring evacuations. 

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