The incident occurred around 9:45 am EST when Houston controllers were uploading new software into the system.
Thankfully, nothing bad appears to have happened as a result of the communications loss. The crew was able to connect a backup computer into the system and is working to restore communications, according to Business Insider.
Commander Kevin Ford has said that the entire six-person Expedition 34 crew is fine. The incident certainly caused alarm for controllers, who were not able to communicated with the ISS crew.
NASA released a statement about the communications incident. It read, in part:
“This morning … the International Space Station experienced a loss of communication with the ground. At that time, flight controllers in Houston were updating the software onboard the station’s flight computers when one of the station’s data relay systems malfunctioned.”
NASA went on to say that Mission Control Houston re-established communications with the crew as the space station made its way over Russian ground stations before 11 am. Mission Control “instructed the crew to connect a backup computer to begin the process of restoring communications.”
NASA’s statement assured that the crew was perfectly fine despite the momentary scare. The statement added:
“Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford reported that the station’s status was fine and that the crew was doing well. More details will follow as events warrant.”
Currently, the International Space Station can only communicate every 90 minutes as it passes over the Russian ground stations.
[Image by NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]