Apparently the Russians had a mishap with their new ISS module. The module fired its thrusters after docking and caused attitude control loss

The Russian "Nauka" module linked to the space station at 8:30 am CT (13:30 UTC), local time in Houston, where NASA's Mission Control is based. After that, Russian cosmonauts aboard the station began preparing to open the hatches leading to Nauka, but at 11:34 am Houston time, Nauka unexpectedly started to fire its movement thrusters.

What caught my eye was this

By late Thursday afternoon, when NASA officials held a teleconference to brief reporters, the situation appeared to be well in hand. Officials, however, declined to say how serious the situation got in Mission Control before the station returned to its proper attitude.
"Until you exhaust all your contingency plans, you're not really starting to worry," said NASA's space station program manager, Joel Montalbano. "And we didn't do that today."

Plan A was to fire other thrusters to counter the bad firing.

This tug-of-war offset the Nauka module thruster activity, which eventually stopped after fuel supplies were exhausted. By 12:29 pm on Thursday, attitude control was restored. It made for quite an hour on the ground and in space.

What are the other contingencies?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I was expecting to hear about it today at our Monday morning weekly meeting as some of the ADCOs work for my employer. But that was not the case. The incident was barely mentioned. It's a good thing I'm not ops because I would be needing new underwear had I been in Mission Control when that incident occurred. $\endgroup$ Aug 2 '21 at 14:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Reminds me of this: "loss of automatic thruster control capability are discussed and methods for attitude control recovery are presented." - This was experienced during Shuttle mission STS-117 in June 2007 when Russian computers, which command the ISS thrusters, failed. - researchgate.net/publication/… (paywall i think) $\endgroup$ Aug 4 '21 at 12:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @blobbymcblobby no, it's not paywalled $\endgroup$
    – Ruslan
    Aug 5 '21 at 14:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Apologies, yes I just checked again, its not. I'm just so used to hitting paywalls :P $\endgroup$ Aug 5 '21 at 17:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.