A Bug in Space: Russia explains why its lander's thrusters were fired

A few days ago, the Russian Nauka module gave us a scare when it engaged its thrusters as soon as they docked at the International Space Station. An unexpected action that, besides causing surprise, shifted the entire angle of the International Space Station causing engineers to lose control of the infrastructure. Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, now has an explanation to all this.

The accident with the thrusters of the Nauka module caused the International Space Station to move out of its normal and planned position to a total of 45 degrees, halting some of the experiments and tasks until everything was back to normal. The incident caused even NASA to delay the launch of a Boeing to the International Space Station.

However, immediately the engineers on the International Space Station were able to regain control. To this end, another Russian module on the opposite side, the Zvezda, activated its thrusters and opposed the situation.

"Short-term software glitch"

A "short-term software glitch" appears to be the culprit, Roscosmos said in an official statement. The software glitch made the Nauka module think it should move away from the stationwhen in fact it was docked and had to remain stationary there.

According to Vladimir Solovyov, a representative of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, "a direct command was implemented by mistake to start the module's engines for its withdrawal, which led to some modification in the orientation of the complex as a whole." They will continue to do research on this to better understand why the error occurred. Likewise, they say they will keep their NASA partners informed of all this.

Now that everything is back to normal, what the Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station are doing is fully integrating the module into the station. This means supporting and synchronizing all the systems between the module and the station, as well as balancing the pressure and atmosphere in both rooms.

After that, the Nauka module will begin to operate and perform the tasks for which it was designed. It is a module that serves as both a laboratory and a place of residence for astronauts. It is also the module that brought the new, sophisticated ERA robotic arm to the station.

The original article, which has reporting from the Plus7 newsroom via Reuters, can be read at: https://plu7.com/13009/tecnologia/um-bug-de-software-a-russia-explica-por-que-os-propulsores-de-seu-modulo-foram-acionados-na-estacao-espacial-internacional/