Encyclopedia Astronautica
2002.02.04 - ISS Status Report: ISS 02-07

The Expedition Four crew's normal work was interrupted this morning when a main computer in the International Space Station's Russian Zvezda living quarters module unexpectedly went off-line, disrupting the system which controls the spacecraft's orientation for a few hours. The computer is now back on-line and all station systems are operating normally.

The crew -- Commander Yury Onufrienko and Flight Engineers Dan Bursch and Carl Walz -- was never in any danger, but began quickly powering down backup equipment and several experiments in case the power generated by the station's solar arrays began to decrease. With the station's orientation not controlled, the solar arrays were not able to autonomously point directly at the sun to generate full power for the complex. The computer went off-line at about 7 a.m. CST.

Flight controllers in Houston and Moscow worked together to restore all operations of the station during the morning, and, at one point, the crew sent manual commands to ensure the solar arrays remained directed at the sun. Russian controllers have not yet determined the cause of the computer problem and are continuing to analyze it.

By 9:30 a.m., flight controllers at the control center in Korolev, Russia, had successfully restarted the computer, and, by 11:30 a.m., the station's orientation control system had begun to be restored to operation.

The crew began its sleep period as normal at around 3:30 p.m. CST. They will awaken at about midnight CST, and they will spend some time tomorrow continuing a recovery of the equipment that was powered down as a result of today's problem.

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