Space station in shut-down scare

Posted on June 18, 2007 

Space station in shut-down scare as record nears for woman astronaut

Astronaut Suni Williams will today become the woman who has spent most time in orbit. But in a day of high drama aboard the International Space Station yesterday, she may have wondered whether her six-month odyssey was about to meet a sticky end.

An unprecedented computer crash aboard the £50 billion laboratory left Williams, her two Russian crewmates and scores of engineers on opposite sides of the world scrambling as critical life support and navigation systems went into meltdown.

As the ISS switched to back-up oxygen supplies, the space shuttle Atlantis – docked to the station – fired its thrusters to maintain position, while mission managers in Moscow and Houston held troubleshooting talks.

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