Sunday, February 21, 2010

Main Space Station computer goes offline

A possible commanding issue caused a prime computer aboard the International Space Station to fail this morning as the five-member crew slept.

Commander Jeffery Williams and his crew began working with Mission Control in Houston to bring the computers back on line.

Command and control computer multiplexer/demultiplexer #1 went offline at about 8:55 am EST, due to the "ascending of commands from the ground", according to the space station control room.

By noon time, all three computers which have control of the space station were 'showing healthy'.

Computer #3 was set to primery, #2 remained as back-up, while #1 was moved to standby.

Mission control will be scatching their heads for a few hours to determine the cause of the computer shutdown this morning.

At 12:05 pm, there were still issues running between computers # 2 & #1 reported.

Mission control has also reported that the crew was not in any danger, nor did it affect the life support systems on board.

The station did loose both KU and S-band communications with the ground for an hour due to the failed prime and backup computers. They then again lost communications for a brief time again an hour later. KU-band provides the live video and high speed data traffic from the station to the ground.

By 1PM, the KU-band was still not operative.

The space shuttle Endeavour -- some 665 miles ahead of the station in orbit --had undocked just 37 hours earlier following the installation of the new node 3 Tranquility and cupola observation module.

There were commands in the Tanquility which did not sync up with earlier commands from the ground.

At 12:31 pm, controlers on the ground were working specific commands to a key computer on board Tranquility. A few minutes later, they uplinked the new commands.

The crew awoke this morning at 1AM, and were enjoying an off-duty day following a buy last ten days of joint docked operations with Endeavour's crew.

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