BBC: A software update for the International Space Station (ISS) resulted in a loss of communication lasting less than three hours between the station and flight controllers in Houston, Texas. While the primary computer was undergoing the software update, it switched to a backup system, which was not maintaining communication properly. The problem was traced to a broken data relay system that normally passes communication from NASA to the station via three satellites. Intermittent communication was established through Russian satellites. The ISS has experienced previous losses of communication during its more than 12 years of human occupation. Former astronaut Jerry Linenger says that a communications loss isn’t considered dangerous unless another emergency is happening simultaneously. In fact, the current crew of the ISS—two Americans, three Russians, and a Canadian—had been simulating various communications problems over the past several weeks to practice dealing with such an interruption.