NASA lost communication with the International Space Station on Tuesday morning and has established only sporadic connections since, according to NASA spokesman Josh Byerly.
At approximately 9:45 a.m. EST, flight controllers in Houston were updating the software onboard the International Space Station's flight computers when one of the station's data relay systems malfunctioned. The station then lost regular communication with the ground.
The primary computer that controls critical station functions defaulted to a backup computer, but was not allowing the station to communicate with NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellites. Mission Control Houston was able to communicate with the crew as the space station flew over Russian ground stations before 11:00 a.m. EST, and instructed the crew to connect a backup computer to begin restoring communications. Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford reported that the station's status was fine and that the crew was doing well.