The International Space Station was temporarily disoriented after it inadvertently launched thrusts from a Russian module docked in the lab. The US space agency NASA has already confirmed the accident, but has confirmed that the station is already in the expected orbit again and that the crew, currently made up of 10 astronauts, is not in danger of life.
The Nauka module, used for science experiments in Earth orbit, successfully docked with the International Space Station on July 29, without any technical problems detected at the time. However, after three hours, the thrusters fired unexpectedly and without being actively powered by the astronauts.
As a result of this accident, the space station spent 45 minutes displaced from its expected location, causing a “loss of position control” – which, in physics, means that the lab was disoriented for three-quarters of an hour. This was also explained by the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, in a statement: “Due to the failure of a short-term program, a direct command was mistakenly executed to start the unit’s towing engines, which led to some adjustments in the direction of the complex as a whole.”
At the moment, “all systems are operating normally” and “the crew is now busy balancing the pressure on the Nauka unit”: “This is a very long procedure as the total volume of the unit is about 70 cubic metres. In the afternoon, the crew will open the hatches, and enter the unit And they do the necessary means to purify the atmosphere and start normal work,” he described to “Roscosmos.”
On Earth, the accident aboard the International Space Station led to the cancellation of Boeing’s test flight to the laboratory. The Starliner, an unmanned unit of that airline, was scheduled to depart for the International Space Station on Friday, but the launch was canceled at the last minute on August 3. The spacecraft will be sent into space from Cape Canaveral and will carry supplies for the astronauts.
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