MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. The International Space Station (ISS) is in its normal flight position and all of its systems are operating correctly, following the unplanned firing of the Russian research module’s thrusters after its docking with the orbital outpost, Energia Space Rocket Corporation Chief Designer and ISS Russian Segment Flight Director Vladimir Solovyov told TASS on Friday.
"Currently, the station is in its normal orientation and all the systems of the ISS and the MLM [the Nauka multi-purpose laboratory module] are operating normally," Solovyov stressed.
A reliable internal power and command interface was created, as well as a power supply interface that connected the module to the station, he added.
"The crew is now busy balancing the pressure in the Nauka module. This is a rather lengthy procedure due to the module’s large volume. In the afternoon, the crew will open the hatches, enter the module, turn on the necessary means of purifying the atmosphere and begin normal regular work," the ISS Russian Segment Flight Director said.
The Chief Operating Control Group is operating normally and managing the entire complex, including the Nauka module, he added.
Russia’s latest Nauka research lab was launched from the Baikonur spaceport on July 21. After the module docked with the orbital outpost on July 29, NASA said in a live webcast that the module’s thrusters suddenly ignited at 12:45 p.m. EDT (7:45 p.m. Moscow time), causing the station to move out of orientation. NASA later said that ground teams had regained attitude control and the motion of the space station was stable. The crew was never in any danger, it added.
Roscosmos explained that work was underway to switch the module from ‘flight’ mode’ to ‘docked with the ISS’ mode. The crew was also carrying out work with the remainder of the propellant in the module.
For its part, Solovyov explained that the Nauka module’s thrusters unexpectedly fired on Thursday due to a brief failure in the software.