Computer crash hits space station

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Russian computers controlling the International Space Station's (ISS) orientation and supply of oxygen and water have failed, Nasa officials say.
The station's three crew and seven visiting shuttle astronauts are not at any immediate risk; the ISS has not lost all vital systems.

But it could force Nasa to extend the current shuttle mission by one day.

Engineers are unsure why the computers stopped working as a failure of this type has not occurred before.

The US space shuttle Atlantis docked with the orbiting outpost at the weekend to begin its latest mission.

Nasa's space station chief said he expected the problem to be fixed within the next few days.

"We have plenty of resources, so we have plenty of time to sort this out," said Mike Suffredini, ISS programme manager for the US space agency.

Without the Russian oxygen machine running, the space station has a 56-day supply of oxygen left. "If we are in that position, we have an option to depart," Mr Suffredini said.

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