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NASA restores communication with International Space Station

By David Ariosto, CNN
February 20, 2013 -- Updated 0100 GMT (0900 HKT)
The crew of the space shuttle Atlantis took this picture of the International Space Station after leaving it in July 2011. Atlantis was the last shuttle to visit the station, which was first launched in 1998 and built by a partnership of 16 nations. The crew of the space shuttle Atlantis took this picture of the International Space Station after leaving it in July 2011. Atlantis was the last shuttle to visit the station, which was first launched in 1998 and built by a partnership of 16 nations.
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International Space Station
International Space Station
International Space Station
International Space Station
International Space Station
International Space Station
International Space Station
International Space Station
International Space Station
International Space Station
International Space Station
International Space Station
International Space Station
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Connections went dark after a routine computer software update
  • The station did not appear to be in danger
  • The loss in communications was not considered unprecedented

(CNN) -- NASA restored communication with the International Space Station on Tuesday after connections went dark following a routine computer software update.

Before the fix, the space agency said the craft was able to communicate only every 90 minutes when it passed over ground stations in Russia.

"This is the same way they used to do it in the 1960s, with Gemini and Apollo," NASA spokesman Josh Byerly said.

The station, which is carrying two American astronauts, three Russian cosmonauts and a Canadian astronaut, did not appear to be in danger.

Three crew members returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Monday, November 19. Their Soyuz spacecraft landed near he town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan. The trio had been on a four-month mission on the station. They were replaced by three new crew members, who arrived at the space station on October 23. Three crew members returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Monday, November 19. Their Soyuz spacecraft landed near he town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan. The trio had been on a four-month mission on the station. They were replaced by three new crew members, who arrived at the space station on October 23.
Rocket shuttles astronauts to and from space
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Photos: Shuttling astronauts to the ISS Photos: Shuttling astronauts to the ISS

"It's not a panicked mood that takes over mission control," Byerly said before communications were fixed. "Anybody's who's been here has seen that."

Aboard the station, Commander Kevin Ford told mission control during a pass over a Russian ground station that the craft was "still flying straight" and that everybody was "in good shape."

The loss in communications was not considered unprecedented, though it was thought to be a cause for concern, officials said.

The station is the product of a partnership among 16 nations and carries six laboratories for space research.

More space and science news on CNN's Light Years blog

CNN's Devon Sayers contributed to this report.

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