Russia blames International Space Station lab incident on software failure

MOSCOW — A Russian area official on Friday blamed a software program downside on a newly-docked science lab that briefly knocked the Worldwide House Station out of place.

The area station misplaced management of its orientation for 47 minutes on Thursday, when Russia’s Nauka science lab by accident fired its thrusters a number of hours after docking, pushing the orbiting advanced from its regular configuration. The station’s place is essential for getting energy from photo voltaic panels and for communications. Communications with floor controllers additionally blipped out twice for a couple of minutes.

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Vladimir Solovyov, flight director of the area station’s Russian phase, blamed the incident on a “short-term software program failure.” In an announcement launched by the Russian area company Roscosmos on Friday, Solovyov stated that due to the failure, a direct command to activate the lab’s engines was mistakenly carried out.

He added that the incident was “shortly countered by the propulsion system” of one other Russian element on the station and “in the meanwhile, the station is in its regular orientation” and all its programs “are working usually.”

NASA stated Thursday that the incident moved 45 levels out of perspective, about one-eighth of an entire circle, however the advanced was by no means spinning, there was no rapid injury or hazard to the crew.

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The incident induced NASA to postpone a repeat take a look at flight for Boeing’s crew capsule that had been set for Friday afternoon from Florida. Will probably be Boeing’s second try to achieve the 250-mile-high station earlier than placing astronauts on board. Software program issues botched the primary take a look at.

Russia’s long-delayed 22-ton (20-metric-ton) lab known as Nauka arrived earlier Thursday, eight days after it launched from the Russian launch facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The launch of Nauka, which can present extra room for scientific experiments and area for the crew, had been repeatedly delayed due to technical issues. It was initially scheduled to go up in 2007.

In 2013, consultants discovered contamination in its gasoline system, leading to a protracted and dear alternative. Different Nauka programs additionally underwent modernization or repairs.

Stretching 43 ft (13 meters) lengthy, Nauka grew to become the primary new compartment for the Russian phase of the outpost since 2010. On Monday, one of many older Russian models, the Pirs spacewalking compartment, undocked from the station to unlock room for the brand new lab.

Nauka would require many maneuvers, together with as much as 11 spacewalks starting in early September, to arrange it for operation.

In response to Solovyov, on Friday the crew was busy equalizing the strain in Nauka and deliberate to open the hatch to the lab later within the day.

The area station is at the moment operated by NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur; Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov of Russia’s Roscosmos area company; Japan Aerospace Exploration Company astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European House Company astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

In 1998, Russia launched the station’s first compartment, Zarya, which was adopted in 2000 by one other huge piece, Zvezda, and three smaller modules within the following years. The final of them, Rassvet, arrived on the station in 2010.


Seth Borenstein in Kensington, Maryland, and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, contributed to this report.

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Huynh Nguyen

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