The ISS spun almost enough to qualify for Olympic skating.
Last week, the International Space Station was almost destroyed when Russia's Nauka module, just launched from Russia, accidentally fired its thrusters. This sent the station spinning literally.
It seems that the problem is worse than any one thought at the time. NASA initially stated that the ISS was rotating 45 degrees from its original position. NASA was confronted by The New York Times reporting and confirmed that the ISS had actually turned a full 360 degrees before crew members were able to control it.
Space.com was told that the initial 45-degree number was given by Mission Control's guidance, navigation, and control officer. However, the numbers were updated after an analysis of actual divergence.
Slow and steady
It is easy to picture the Hollywood version of events. The ISS spins so fast that the crew panics and falls against the walls trying to regain control. NASA initially admitted that the incident was more dangerous than NASA originally claimed. However, NASA claims the ISS rotated at a rate of about half a degree per minute at its fastest speed for astronauts to feel.
According to NASA flight director Zebulon Scott Scoville, who was in charge of the ground effort during this incident, the ISS spun one and a half revolutions at 540 degrees before stopping upside down. To return to its original orientation, the space station did a 180-degree front flip.
Scoville stated that this resulted in a calm professionalism throughout the entire organization.
Scoville stated that it is possible that the intensity of the problem increases. There is a calmness that people have, not panicking but just looking at data and trying to figure out the problem.
Scoville also stated that he was required to declare a spacecraft emergency the first time.
READ MORE: Space station mishap with Russian Module more serious than NASA initially reported [Space.com]
Continue reading: The Crisis Briefly Spins the International Space Station Out Of Control