This is the first time in eleven years that Russia has cut a block for the ISS. At first, the maneuver seemed to succeed without incident, but three hours after the docking, Noka’s missiles suddenly launched. The sudden force caused the ISS to move 45 degrees, and those on the ground could turn the station again after three-quarters of an hour by launching better-tuning missiles from the ISS modules.
Communication with seven crew members at the space station – two Russian astronauts and three Americans, a Japanese and a Frenchman – was briefly broken twice, but NASA underestimates the risk.
“The crew was never in immediate danger,” Joel Montalbano, head of NASA’s space program, told a news conference.
Can eventually Nauka’s engines will shut down and ISS will return to normal. It is not clear why the Russian block engines suddenly ran out, and NASA says it will investigate.
The 20-ton Nauka will be one of the largest volumes in the ISS, and will be primarily used for research and storage of laboratory equipment, but it will also bring in new water and aviation systems and improve living conditions in the Russian region of the ISS.
The NOA should have been sent first in 2007, but the project has been fraught with delays. The launch took place from Kazakhstan last week – and it will take several more months and several space missions to fully integrate this block with other space stations.
Following the incident, NASA suspended the second unmanned test aircraft of Boeing’s Starliner capsule, which was launched by ISS on Friday. That launch has now been postponed to at least August 3, while ISS