Editor's Note: This article was updated to include comments and details from a later news conference that took place on July 29.
After the arrival of the Russian science module, Nauka's rough ride to the International Space Station was not any easier.
Oleg Novitsky, and Pyotr dubrov, cosmonauts, were still in the Zvezda Module to which Nauka docked. They were preparing to open the hatch that separated the two vehicles just three hours later. According to NASA spokesperson Rob Navias, thrusters on Nauka were fired "inadvertently" and "unexpectedly" at 12:45 p.m. GMT (1645 GMT). Navias explained that the space station lost "attitude control" temporarily, which is very rare for engineers.
Navias stated that the crew was not in danger, and never was. Attitude control had been regained during a live broadcast.
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Russia's Nauka module arrived on the International Space Station (ISS) on July 29, 2021. Image credit: NASA TV
Navias stated that the orbiting laboratory was tilted by 45 degrees from its correct orientation. The station was then able to straighten itself. According to NASA officials, the station lost its attitude control for 47 minutes.
The space station detected that Nauka's thrusters were sending out an orbiting laboratory in error and ordered Zvezda to fire its own thrusters. This was completed by the robotic Russian Progress 78 cargo vessel, which is also docked at the station.
NASA reports that Nauka's Russian overseers began to work to make sure the thrusters did not misfire again after the station was repositioned. This command was successfully executed as the space station flew above command stations in Russia.
Nauka, a long-awaited Russian spacecraft, is now available. It will host crew members and cargo vehicles as well as support scientific activities. It spent eight days traveling to the station after its launch on July 21. Nauka's handlers encountered several problems during this time, including issues with its propulsion system.
The seven astronauts who are currently living and working at the orbiting laboratory have closed the protective shutters of the station today in response to Nauka's unexpected thruster firings. However, they were allowed to open them as necessary to examine the situation. NASA officials later confirmed that astronauts saw signs that the Nauka module was firing thrusters.
"The crew reported seeing some debris, I believe I heard. Joel Montalbano is NASA's program manager for space station. They spoke of flakes or some other phenomenon.
Montalbano stated that the crew experienced no turbulence from the circumstances. "We asked the crew if the space station had shaken or something similar. "We asked the crew, "Have you seen any shaking on the space station?"
According to communication between NASA's mission control centre in Houston and NASA's space station, astronauts were almost done with their day at the time of loss of attitude control. However, any remaining tasks were mostly cancelled to enable the crew to respond to the anomaly.
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