The International Space Station (ISS) Flight Control Room (FCR) in Houston suffered a primary and backup failure of its Front-End Processor (FEP), causing a loss of the forward command and voice link between the orbital outpost and Houston. The issue – since resolved – caused controllers to move to the Red FCR, per contingency procedures.
FCR FEP Issue:
The ISS is currently manned by a three member crew, following the successful departure of Soyuz TMA-03M(29S), carrying Russian cosmonaut and Soyuz commander Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Don Pettit and ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers, who all served as part of the ISS Expedition 30 and 31 crews.
The crew enjoyed a nominal return to Earth, landing in Kazakhstan on Monday morning.
“29S Undock: Soyuz 29S successfully undocked from ISS over the weekend, and the 29S crew has returned safely to the ground. All operations were nominal, including USTO (United States Thruster Only) maneuvers to and from the -XVV attitude, array positioning for undocking, and RS MCS maneuvers to and from the undocking attitude,” noted L2′s rolling ISS Update notes – L2 Link – on the undocking.
“ISS Prop usage summary: 96 kg for USTO maneuvers, and 80 kg for the RS MCS maneuvers and attitude hold.”
Expedition 32 – consisting of Russian commander Gennady Padalka, joined by fellow Russian Sergey Revin, and American Joe Acaba – will soon be boosted by three additional members – Russian Yuri Malenchenko, American Suni Williams, and Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide – who are set to ride uphill on their Soyuz TMA-05M/31S spacecraft in the middle of this month.