According to NASA, the Russian Nauka Module’s mishap proved to have a major impact on the ISS. The incident took place on thursday last week.
Russian officials analysed the misshapen and stated the reason. According to them it was a Software Glitch or possible Lapse due to lack of human attention. It caused a misfire which punched the International Space Station and made it out of control.
Russian officials presented a detailed video of the investigation over the incident. They seek to prove that it wasn’t a technological fault but a mishap which briefly impacted the International Space station.
Overview of the Nauka Module’s Mishap
The mission controllers in Moscow were performing post-docking reconfiguration with its Nauka Module. The jet controllers inexplicably restarted the module which caused fire.
The unusual thruster firing caused the orbiting laboratory to tilt by about 45 degrees from its proper orientation and made the entire ISS to pitch out of its normal flight position some 400km (250 miles) above the Earth.
The crew members on board included two Russian cosmonauts, three NASA astronauts, a Japanese astronaut and a European Space Agency astronaut from France. They remained safe and were never in any immediate danger.
NASA’s Response to the Incident
The director of the mission’s flight declared a spacecraft emergency. They communicated with the International space station and NASA’s officials. After knowing about the situation, flight teams on the ground activated thrusters on another module in the orbit and managed the situation.
The Module’s engines switched off, the space station was managed and its orientation was restored to its original position. They controlled the overall ISS orientation.
NASA’s officials at Johnson space center in Houston and Texas stated their struggle to control the space station to be the “tug of war” between the two modules.
About Nauka Module
The Nauka module is a research lab and storage unit that is used for Russia’s space missions. This will support science activities, host visiting crew and serve as a base for cosmonauts’ spacewalks. The Nauka module would be the first new compartment for russian segment in the International Space Station.
The Nauka was to launch initially in 2007, but continuously delayed due to various reasons. By May 2020, Russia announced to launch Nauka in the second quarter of 2021. Nauka is funded by Roscosmos.
On July 21, the nauka module launched which took eight days to arrive at the space station. During these days the crew has faced several issues with the module. One of them was the major problem with its propulsion system.
Roscosmos is the central Space agency of Russia which is also known as Russian Federal Space Agency. It was formed in 1992. Russia cooperated with the construction of the ISS from the beginning.
Roscosmos’s contributions include the Zvezda service module which was the docking module, the research module Rassvet, and regular cargo flights to the ISS. From several of its flights, Roscosmos has seen a few failures across dozens of its space flights. That includes (in 2011, 2015 and 2016).
Roscosmos determined the cause of malfunction with its launch Nauka module. He explained that the telemetry data and reports from ISS crew shows that the onboard system of Station and Nauka module were operating normally.
Roscosmos planned this week to launch another Russian module to the station in November. However it has suffered a series of mishaps and corruption scandals. One of which was during the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. The concerned contractors were accused of embezzling state funds.