International Space Station backflips in space after ‘spacecraft emergency’


July 29, 2021: International Space Station Configuration. Three spaceships are docked at the space station including the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Russia’s Soyuz MS-18 crew ship and ISS Progress 78 resupply ship. The new Nauka Multipurpose Logistics Module (MLM) is now attached to the Zvezda service module’s Earth-facing port. Courtesy: NASA

HOUSTON, Texas (NewsNation Now) — The International Space Station flipped 540 degrees after an accidental fire of a Russian module’s thrusters.

In what NASA’s Flight Director Zebulon Scoville told the New York Times was the first “spacecraft emergency” in seven years, the space station rotated 1.5 times before it did a final 180-degree flip to get back to normal attitude.

Attitude Control is the term for where and how the object is oriented in space, and astronauts work with ground control to ensure the International Space Station is always at a normal level.

The incident began after Russia’s Nauka Module docked at the International Space Station. It started to fire its thrusters, which caused the ISS to tip forward.

Scoville explained to the New York Times that astronauts in space worked with ground control in Houston and Russia’s mission control to stabilize the space station.

NASA released footage of NASA Public Affairs Officer Rob Navias discussing the spacecraft emergency after the situation was resolved, emphasizing that Russia’s space command would work to ensure the inadvertent thruster firing did not happen again.

No astronauts were harmed during the flipping, according to NASA, and the ISS itself doesn’t appear to have any damage from the incident.

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