Space station restores communication with Earth

NASA is back in contact with the International Space Station after communication was lost when the software on the station's flight computers was updated.

NASA lost contact with International Space Station for almost 3 hours

The International Space Station's data relay systems malfunctioned, barring all communication with NASA. (NASA)

NASA is back in contact with the International Space Station after a communications outage of almost three hours Tuesday.

Communications were restored at 12:34 p.m. ET, NASA reported on Twitter.

NASA lost contact with the space station at 9:45 a.m. ET, while the software on the station’s flight computers was being updated remotely from the ground by flight controllers in Houston, Texas, NASA reported in a release.

The outage is being blamed on a malfunction of the station’s data relay systems, which caused the space station’s main computer to bar communication with the satellites that allow it to communicate with NASA.

Communication was briefly restored around 11 a.m. ET as the space station flew over Russian ground stations. At that time, NASA told the space station’s crew to connect a backup computer to restore communications.

The U.S. space agency said the station’s current commander, Kevin Ford, reported that the station was fine and the six astronauts on board were doing well.

Canadian Chris Hadfield is currently among the crew of the space station. Earlier in the morning, Hadfield had sent out a tweet indicating that the space station’s main computers were getting a software upgrade.

"Nothing could possibly go wrong," he added at the time.