NASA officials said that the International Space Station (ISS) briefly lost control on Thursday when the jet engine of the newly arrived Russian research module accidentally ignited several hours after docking with the orbital station. According to NASA and the Russian information agency RIA. The seven crew members on board included two Russian astronauts, three NASA astronauts, one Japanese astronaut, and one astronaut from the European Space Agency. According to NASA and RIA, they were never in any danger.
However, the malfunction caused NASA to postpone the launch of the new Boeing CST100 Starliner capsule until at least August 3rd. Which was set to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday. According to NASA, about three hours after the multi-purpose nuclear submodule was connected to the space station on Thursday, the Moscow mission controller performed some “reconfiguration” procedures after docking, and the event began.
The module aircraft restarted inexplicably, causing the entire space station to take off from a normal flight position about 250 miles above the earth, causing the mission’s flight commander to declare a “spacecraft emergency,” NASA said. According to Joel Montalbano, NASA’s Spacecraft Station Project Manager, the automatic ground sensor first detected an unexpected deviation in the attitude of the space station, and the “loss of attitude control” lasted more than 45 minutes.
NASA officials said that the flight crews on the ground were able to reposition the space station by activating the thrusters on another module on the platform. When broadcasting the event, RIA quoted NASA experts at the Johnson Space Center, describing the scuffle to regain control of the space station as a “tug-of-war” between the two modules.
During the incident, the space station deflected at a rate of half a degree per second, Montalbano said during a conference call between NASA and reporters. According to NASA, the engine of Nauka was eventually shut down, the space station stabilized, and its calibration was brought back to the initial position.
“If the situation had become so dangerous that it would have been necessary to evacuate people, the crew could escape in the SpaceX crew cabin, which is still parked at the outpost and used as a “lifeboat” if necessary,” said Steve Stich, NASA manager of commercial crew plan.