Space Station Computers Fail, Air Supply Threatened

Crew not in immediate danger; shuttle may have to head home early
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2007 7:03 AM CDT
Space Station Computers Fail, Air Supply Threatened
I n this image made from NASA TV, Astronaut James Reilly, works during his space walk outside the international space station during a visit by the Space Shuttle Atlantis orbiting Earth, Monday, June 11, 2007, (AP Photo/ NASA TV)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The Russian computers that control the international space station's air supply, water and orientation are down, the AP reports. The unprecedented failure could lengthen the current shuttle mission, or, at worst, force the crew to come home early, but there is no immediate danger. "We have plenty of resources, so we have plenty of time to sort this out," says a NASA manager.

The crew has a 56-day supply of oxygen left without help from the computers. Thrusters on the docked Atlantis are being used to help maintain the station's position. Russian engineers they think the problem may have something to do with the new solar panels delivered by the shuttle crew on Tuesday. (Read more NASA stories.)

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