Computers that control navigation and key life-support systems on the International Space Station were partially restored on Thursday after failing the day before. Flight controllers were able to re-establish some communication with the computers overnight, with Russian engineers working Thursday to restore the rest of the system, NASA space station flight director Holly Ridings said. "They've made a lot of progress," she said. "There are some cleanup steps to do still and some investigation."
The U.S. space agency and Russian officials are still trying to determine the cause of a failure affecting multiple computers in the Russian network — computers that control the navigation and control systems that help the station's gyroscopes maintain its orientation in space and also supply oxygen and water to the station. The computer failure occurred in the Russian segment of the orbital outpost, which relies on the resources of 16 nations. While computers had failed before, these failures had never happened all at once, nor to the point where none could reboot. Some of the computers were able to restart Thursday morning, though the reconnection gave the crew a scare by setting off a false fire alarm about an hour and 20 minutes before Thursday's wake-up call.