WASHINGTON -- The International Space Station has regained contact with NASA controllers after three hours of quiet.
Officials say the six crew members and the station are fine, and that there were no problems during the brief outage.
NASA spokesman Josh Byerly (BYE'ehr'lee) 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.
It was restored less than three hours later.
Ironically, just before the planned update, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted:
Good Morning, Earth! Today we transition the Space Station's main computers to a new software load. Nothing could possibly go wrong.— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) February 19, 2013
The station's commander, Kevin Ford, was able to briefly radio Moscow while the station was flying over Russia.
A NASA spokesman says in the past few weeks, the space station had been purposely simulating communications delays and downtimes, in preparation for a future Mars mission. The spokesman says this wasn't part of those tests, but that the experience may prove useful.