Orbital alert: Computer glitch activates alarm at Intl Space Station

Reuters / NASA TV
The crew of the International Space Station were put on alert briefly over a computer failure in the US segment. It took efforts by the spacemen, as well Russian and American ground control, to set things straight.

The glitch occurred early Saturday morning. The crew were woken up by an alarm signal.

"There was a computer malfunction in the american segment of the ISS," Russian space agency Roscosmos' spokesman Igor Burenkov told the TASS news agency. "The Russian and US ground controls acted together quickly. Besides, Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko helped their American crewmate Scott Kelly to restore the computer in the American segment."

After analyzing the situation, specialists took the decision to reroute the US computer's lines to back-up Russian ones.

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"Ground Control Moscow and Ground Control Houston switched the necessary computer lines to reserve ones in the Russian segment,” RIA Novosti quoted a Russian Ground Control representative as saying.

“The crew were instructed to follow Earth's command to run diagnostics. The spacemen checked all the computer networks running through the station, restarted all the laptops on the station. The incident was through by 3pm Saturday, when the on-board computer in the American segment was able to work properly again after the malfunction."

Meanwhile a NASA representative at Moscow Ground Control said the computer was restored by 12 noon Moscow time Saturday - some seven hours after the initial malfunction was detected. "US ground control specialists rebooted the computer and the system started working normally again," he told TASS.

According to Igor Burenkov, there is currently no danger to the crew, and all the systems are operating normally.