The International Space Station (ISS) was briefly moved out of position after the Nauka space module's thrusters unexpectedly fired up.
According to a tweet posted on the official Twitter account of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Nauka's thrusters unexpectedly began to fire at 12:45 p.m. ET, tilting the space station by 45 degrees from its usual position.
The problem has since been fixed by NASA's Mission Control teams. No one from the ISS crew was ever in danger due to the tilt.
ISS Moved 45 Degrees Out of Position: What Happened
The ISS tilting incident happened three hours after the new Russian space module, Nauka, successfully docked with the space station on Thursday, July 29.
According to a report by Space, cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov were preparing to open the hatch between the Nauka and the Zvezda module, where the Nauka docked. Nauka's thrusters then unexpectedly began to fire up and the ISS lost what is referred to as "attitude control."
ICYMI: Earlier today, the Russian Nauka module inadvertently fired its thrusters while docked to the @Space_Station. Mission Control teams corrected the action and all systems are operating normally. The crew was never in any danger. Stay tuned for a media telecon later today: pic.twitter.com/bjuDmdiZu5— NASA (@NASA) July 29, 2021
The mishap was eventually corrected and according to NASA, the space station has regained attitude control. Crew members of the ISS have cleared their schedules and are focusing on the recovery efforts following the incident, according to the U.S. space agency.
Nauka Space Module Docks Successfully
To make way for the arrival of the new Russian space module, a 20-year-old space module called Pirs was let go by the ISS. Once Pirs was undocked from the ISS, the old space mobile burned like a fireball in space. Nauka is now occupying the docking compartment Pirs vacated.
The launch of the Nauka space module was delayed for more than 10 years. The space module is meant to boost the science capabilities of the Russian section of the ISS.
Boeing Starliner OFT-2 Launch Delayed Due to ISS Tilt
The unexpected incident involving the thruster of the Nauka space module has affected the much-awaited launch of a Boeing spacecraft.
The Boeing Starliner OFT-2 launch has been delayed following the Nauka space module thruster mishap at the ISS. The launch, which was originally scheduled to take place on July 30, has been moved to August 3.
Officials from both NASA and Boeing made the announcement after a joint decision not to push through with the July 30 launch.
"The move allows the International Space Station team time to continue working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos' Nauka module and to ensure the station will be ready for Starliner's arrival," according to NASA, as quoted in a separate report by Space.
The rescheduled launch of the Boeing Starliner spacecraft will happen at 1:20 p.m. EDT.
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Written by Isabella James