Mishap on the International Space Station with Russia is more dangerous than previously imagined – NASA director declares ‘emergency’
THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS) lost control last week when docking the Russian-built Nauka science module, but recent claims say the situation was far more catastrophic than previously understood, with a NASA official claiming to have issued his first “spacecraft emergency” alert.
After a bumpy launch from Kazakhstan, Russia’s newest contribution, the International Space Station, arrived at the orbiting lab on July 29. The Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) docked to the International Space Station (ISS) without a hitch, but only three hours later everything went haywire. Nauka’s engines fired without notice, causing the ISS to lose “attitude control” and spin out of control for a brief while.
NASA acknowledged the space station had been thrown 45 degrees off-kilter at the moment of the incident.
It was later revealed that the incident was caused by a bug in the Nauka module, which enabled it to burn through the remaining of its fuel without warning.
Fortunately, NASA reported that the seven astronauts on board were never in danger, and the ISS has now been stabilized.
However, a NASA spaceflight controller has recently claimed that the mishap was far more dangerous than first believed.
According to a story in the New York Times, NASA flight director Zebulon Scoville in Houston admitted that the space station had been tilted by more than 45 degrees.
Before slowing down, he claimed the space station revolted one-and-a-half times, or nearly 540 degrees.
A forward-facing 180-degree flip was then required to correct the space station’s position.
According to reports, Mr Scoville stated that the situation had been “a little inaccurately represented.”
This was the first time the flight controller had declared a “spacecraft emergency,” he said.
NASA has confirmed that the space station did indeed spin by more than 45 degrees, according to LiveScience.com.
The ISS, on the other hand, did not rotate rapidly enough for any of the astronauts on board to notice the difference.
“Those data showing the shift in attitude are correct,” NASA representatives reportedly claimed.
“We’d want to emphasize that the highest rate at which the change occurred was slow enough for the crew members on board to go unnoticed, and all other station systems functioned normally throughout the event.”
A NASA representative also informed Space.com that Mission Control reported a 45-degree angle in the early minutes of the incident.
The issue has since been updated in subsequent reports.
And in the meantime, there is an emergency. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”