A long-delayed Russian laboratory module docked at the International Space Station on Thursday, hours later, when a laboratory thruster accidentally fired, the Russian laboratory knocked out the orbital station.
The mission controller took nearly an hour to reposition the ISS, which was off by 45 degrees. Ground controllers fired Russian thrusters on other Russian elements of the station to correct their position.
During the relocation, communication between the ground and the crew took place twice every few minutes.
According to NASA’s Head of Manned Space Flight, Kathy Lueders, it was a “quite exciting time.”
“No damage was seen,” said Joel Montalbano, space station program manager. “There was always no imminent risk to the crew.”
Complexity has forced NASA to delay Boeing’s test flight to the ISS, which was scheduled to take off from Florida on Friday.
The Russian unmanned, 20-ton, approximately 13-meter-long Nauka module (also known as the multipurpose experimental module) docked with the ISS after a long and sometimes uncertain journey.
The European Space Agency states that the module deployed solar panels and antennas on schedule shortly after being launched from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 21. But shortly thereafter, the Russian mission control center in Moscow said the aircraft did not receive the proper automatic data commands and could not complete the first combustion to orbit.
According to ESA, flight engineers performed critical propulsion tests over the course of a week, performing orbit correction of modules designed to rendezvous with the ISS and automatically dock using their own engine. ..
ESA has an engine-developed robotic arm that monitors module launch.
A problematic trip to an orbiting space station follows years of trouble getting the module off the ground. Designed to provide more space for scientific experiments and space for the crew, Nauka was originally scheduled to rise in 2007, but was repeatedly delayed due to technical issues. Contamination was found in the fuel system, which was time consuming and costly to replace, and other systems were modernized or repaired.
Nauka is the first new module in the Russian segment of the station since 2010. The Russian crew at the station conducted two extravehicular activities to connect the cables in preparation for a new arrival. On Monday, one of the old Russian modules, the Pirs EVA compartment, was docked from the space station, freeing up space for the new module.
The new module will require a number of operations, including up to 11 EVAs, starting in September to prepare for operation.
Some information in this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.
New Russian module knocks out space station
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