Lost and found: Connection with ISS and Soyuz spacecraft restored

Russian Mission Control has restored contact with the International Space Station after technical trouble prevented officials from communicating or locating it for several hours.

“Communication problems with the ISS, resulting from failure of the fiber optic network in the MCC, were repaired around one hour and a half ago. At the moment, there are no problems whatsoever” – RIA Novosti cites an operations desk officer at MCC as saying.

Earlier reports said Russia’s Mission Control Center lost contact with the International Space Station and a Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft carrying a three-person crew that was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

Connection was lost at about 6 pm Moscow time. According to a Russian Mission Control officer, similar outages are rare. “Such connection failures happen, but they are fixed quickly,” the source told Interfax.

The spacecraft is carrying three explorers who are scheduled to join the international crew at the space station. The docking to ISS is planned for December 17. The crew is bringing New Year presents to the station.