Last week the Russian-made science module, Nauka, finally docked with the International Space Station (ISS). Roscosmos was able to successfully link the Nauka after several technical glitches on the way to the huge orbiting laboratory. And shortly after the linking to the station, the Nauka misfired its propulsion thrusters, which threw the space station 45-degrees off-track.
Meanwhile, in Houston, NASA Mission Control began automatically to implement “loss of attitude control” procedures. This is a scenario that astronauts and flight controllers have the training to deal with.
At the same time in Moscow, the space team set the thrusters on the Russian segment to fire. And in order to autocorrect, initiated contact with the supply vehicle attached to the laboratory. These synched actions saved the station from going too far off-kilter or starting to tumble.
Following the mishap, NASA had a news conference. Chief Kathy Lueders and head of the International Space Station program, Joel Montalbano talked to the media. NASA and the Russian-based Roscosmos assured everyone that the issues had been resolved. And claimed that there was no risk to the space station or the onboard astronauts.
Roscosmos admits human error
NASA said that Roscosmos should answer any questions about technical issues. All the problems were on the Russian segment of the space station.