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Cut cable in Russia won't affect space station, country says

ISS-nasa.JPG

The ISS will be fine, officials say, even though Russia has temporarily lost contact. (NASA)

A communications cable serving the Russian space agency's mission control was cut by construction workers but the accident has not affected the International Space Station or civilian satellites, the U.S. and Russian space agencies said Wednesday.

Russian news agencies cited unnamed sources as saying the cut meant controllers could not send commands to satellites or the Russian segments of the orbiting space lab. But Alexei Kuznetsov, a spokesman for the Roscosmos space agency, said communications were continuing by other means, which he did not specify.

Josh Byerly, a spokesman for the U.S. space agency NASA, said the Russian space program had another ground communications site in operation and was communicating with the space station via Johnson Space Center in Houston without problems.

A Soyuz space capsule is to ferry three astronauts from the station back to Earth on Monday. Kuznetsov said the accident did not affect that plan.

The Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed Defense Ministry official as saying military satellites were under control.