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Engineers Restore Communication After Space Station Computers Fail

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Korolev, Russia
1. Mid view of Russian control room
2. UPSOUND: (English) Unidentified Translator:
"So I understand we do not have terminal and central computer readiness data."
Space
3. Close-up solar array on International Space Station
Houston, Texas, USA
4. SOUNDBITE: (English) Holly Ridings, International Space Station Flight Director:
"Certainly a lot of good progress overnight by our Russian colleagues."
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Pat Ryan, NASA Commentator:
"I'm sure at this point we don't know what the cause was or why it has been resolved yet, but we do know that it is positive."
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Holly Ridings, International Space Station Flight Director:
"Yes, it looks like they have made a lot of progress overnight and getting telemetry and sending commands. There are some clean-up steps to do still and some investigation, but we have got teams here in the US working closely. We've got folks working here in a Moscow support group that interface person to person, and of course we will be talking to them, as we did through the night, in the next couple of days to understand the root cause of the issue."
Space
7. ISS in orbit
8. SOUNDBITE: (English) Pat Ryan, NASA Commentator: (Overlaid with map graphic)
"The effort is still under way to restore the Russian segment's central and terminal computers to full operation. Reported a few moments ago to the ISS flight director that the Russian plan is to wait for the next Russian ground site pass, which is due at 9.15 Central Time this morning, at which time they will try to uplink the commands to restart the remaining lanes of the central computer and the terminal computer."
9. Graphic showing location of International Space Station
STORYLINE:
Russian computers that control the international space station's orientation and oxygen and water supplies were partly working again on Thursday after failing the previous day.
Flight controllers in Moscow were able to re-establish some communication with the computers overnight, and Russian engineers were working on Thursday to restore the rest of the system, NASA space station flight director Holly Ridings said.
"They've made a lot of progress," she said. "There are some cleanup steps to do still and some investigation."
Officials with NASA and the Russian space agency still do not know why the computers went down.
They had never seen that type of failure on the space station before, and they believe it may be related to electrical power rather than computer software.
A new solar array had been unfolded outside the station on Tuesday to help provide power for the orbiting outpost, and astronauts spent Wednesday hooking up a joint that will let the solar arrays track the Sun.
The crew got a scare early on Thursday while the computers were being reconnected: a false fire alarm went off on the Russian Zarya module, but Ridings said there was no indication of any fire or smoke.

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