Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Friday July 30, @06:51PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the What-does-this-button-do? dept.

Russian module suddenly fires thrusters after docking with space station:

Flight controllers at NASA and Roscosmos averted a disaster on Thursday after a large Russian module docked with the International Space Station and began to "inadvertently" fire its thrusters.

The Russian "Nauka" module linked to the space station at 8:30 am CT (13:30 UTC), local time in Houston, where NASA's Mission Control is based. After that, Russian cosmonauts aboard the station began preparing to open the hatches leading to Nauka, but at 11:34 am Houston time, Nauka unexpectedly started to fire its movement thrusters.

Within minutes, the space station began to lose attitude control. This was a problem for several reasons. First of all, the station requires a certain attitude to maintain signal with geostationary satellites and talk to Mission Control on the ground. Also, solar arrays are positioned to collect power based upon this predetermined attitude.

Another concern is G forces on the station's structure. The various components of the extensive space station were assembled in microgravity and designed to operate at zero-G. So even small stresses on the vehicle can induce small cracks or other problems with the station's structure.

For all of these reasons, space station flight controllers in Houston and Moscow acted quickly after the station started to drift. Attitude control was fully lost at 11:42 am, and engines on the space station's service module were fired. This was followed by a handover to the Russian Progress vehicle attached to the station, which began to fire its thrusters. This tug-of-war offset the Nauka module thruster activity, which eventually stopped after fuel supplies were exhausted. By 12:29 pm on Thursday, attitude control was restored. It made for quite an hour on the ground and in space.

[...] By late Thursday afternoon, when NASA officials held a teleconference to brief reporters, the situation appeared to be well in hand.

Previously:
Russia's MLM Nauka Makes Triumphant Docking to ISS.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Russia's MLM Nauka Makes Triumphant Docking to ISS 14 comments

MLM Nauka makes triumphant docking to ISS - NASASpaceFlight.com:

Russia’s Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) Nauka, meaning “science,” has defied the odds to successfully dock to the ISS after a long and arduous journey dating back over 20 years and a problematic propulsion system after launch which had threatened the success of the mission.

The docking was not without issue, with Russian cosmonauts noting that Nauka wasn’t on the correct course less than an hour before docking; however, a retro burn quickly corrected the issue. After also troubleshooting an issue with the TORU manual docking system, which was used for the final seconds of the module’s approach, Nauka successfully docked to the Zvezda service module’s nadir port at 09:29 EDT / 13:29 UTC, marking the first major expansion to the Russian segment for over 20 years.

[...] Nauka had been chasing down the International Space Station (ISS) for the last eight days after being launched atop a Proton-M booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 21 July.

Immediately after a successful orbit insertion of 190 x 350.1 km, issues with the module’s communications and propulsion systems were noted. Initial troubleshooting was complicated by limited communications during brief periods when the module came within range of Russian ground stations.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Friday July 30, @07:10PM

    I think we pretty much covered this, but here's a Scott Manley video about it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTR5evpFLb4 [youtube.com]

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by MIRV888 on Friday July 30, @07:26PM (14 children)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Friday July 30, @07:26PM (#1161459)

    I'll be interest to know what caused the thrusters to fire.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @07:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @07:36PM (#1161463)

      Putin.

    • (Score: 1) by anubi on Friday July 30, @08:01PM (1 child)

      by anubi (2828) on Friday July 30, @08:01PM (#1161478) Journal

      Bad design.

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Tork on Friday July 30, @09:23PM

        by Tork (3914) on Friday July 30, @09:23PM (#1161498)
        That helps. Thanks.
        --
        Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @01:31AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @01:31AM (#1161582)

      After watching the Scott Manley video, it sounds like there were cascading failures involved. Something failed mechanically. They were able to compensate and everything seemed OK for docking. Then after it docked it tried to back away from the station! If I had to guess, I'd say there was some edge case in the software for which there was no test coverage.

      How do you not have a master over-ride on the thrusters? That's what I want to know. You should be able to flip the big red switch somewhere and have them ignore anything that's telling them to fire. That would give you the time to figure out why the computer is telling them to fire when you don't want them to--assuming the computer was telling them to fire and they were not firing due to mechanical issues, or lower level issues. Also, if firing the thruster is some kind of low-level safety feature then you have to leave that in there I suppose. At the lowest level, if the motor is experiencing over-pressure somewhere that would cause it to explode, and if firing can relieve that pressure, it should chose to fire rather than explode.

      They're lucky it looks safe now, and they should have plenty of data to look at and get a real answer and not just an Internet guess.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @03:46AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @03:46AM (#1161613)

        The master controls, including manual shutdown, are on the Zvezda module, but Nauka wasn't hooked up to that yet. The only other control is from Russian ground control, which was out of contact due to the previous problems delaying the docking and then due to the severe list cutting off all contact with the station.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @07:16AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @07:16AM (#1161651)

          Maybe after completing the post-incident failure analysis, they'll decide that the equivalent of the Russian ground-control should be available on the station.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @03:48PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @03:48PM (#1161723)

            After Roscosmos completes their post-incident analysis they will blame the USA and Jewish Space Lasers for being mean to them and then sulk about it for a while after the actual cause gets leaked by a disgruntled intern. My money is on Nauka still thinking that it was supposed to be the station's propulsion module like it was originally designed to be and it tried to "fix" the station being "sideways".

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @06:02AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @06:02AM (#1161634)

        They were using MCAS, no switch necessary.

    • (Score: 2) by gawdonblue on Saturday July 31, @03:19AM (1 child)

      by gawdonblue (412) on Saturday July 31, @03:19AM (#1161604)

      (Checks whether it was a good or bad thing that happened...)

      (It was a bad thing, so...)

      (Checks who this week's bad guys are...)

      (China, so...)

      After conclusive analysis we can announce that China did it.

      Any other questions?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @04:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @04:28PM (#1161732)

        After creative googling we can announce that China did it.

        FTFY

    • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Saturday July 31, @02:52PM (1 child)

      by isostatic (365) on Saturday July 31, @02:52PM (#1161703) Journal

      Someone accidentally pressed space

      • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Sunday August 01, @12:14AM

        by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Sunday August 01, @12:14AM (#1161811)

        We've all done this in KSP at least once. Can they jump back to a quicksave?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @02:57PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @02:57PM (#1161706)

      Was this an attempt to decommission the ISS early leaving China and Russia as the new superpower in space?

      The US/EU has really been resting on its laurels too long with only a single crappy space station up there. It's time to lob up some Bigelow modules for crew space, then get new docking and energy distribution modules up there for at least 2-3 orbiting stations. Anything less is not just political suicide... it may be economic and military suicide also.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, @12:00AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, @12:00AM (#1161808)

        No, this was just Russian building standards and quality control at work. They talk big but Cosmodrome has more to lose than NASA does if the ISS shuts down.

        The US/EU have been funnelling money to major campaign contributors with little to show for it for too long. Bigelow laid off all of their employees so they are out of the running. Two to three stations would be a problem because Congress isn't willing to properly fund (and thus crew) the one that is already there. One station would be enough for current needs if it was properly funded and crewed. Funding beyond that should be directed at a moon base, and then at Mars.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Friday July 30, @07:29PM (26 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 30, @07:29PM (#1161460) Homepage Journal

    How much of this project was outsourced to China?

    --
    alles in Ordnung
    • (Score: 5, Touché) by DeathMonkey on Friday July 30, @07:42PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday July 30, @07:42PM (#1161465) Journal

      Sure is interesting how a certain political persuasion cannot help but jerk their knee in defense of Russia...

      • (Score: 2) by RedGreen on Friday July 30, @09:40PM

        by RedGreen (888) on Friday July 30, @09:40PM (#1161500)

        "Sure is interesting how a certain political persuasion cannot help but jerk their knee in defense of Russia..."

        Yes them Republicans it was putrid watching the kiss Putin's ass all the time.

        --
        "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @07:50PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @07:50PM (#1161469)

      ...or China (who actually uses genocide, slavery and murders "prisoners" for the human organ trade).
      Keep your blinders on nice and tight, you super-special, kind, progressive dip5h1+!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @07:53PM (7 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @07:53PM (#1161471)

        ^Meant for the Monkey of Death

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by DeathMonkey on Friday July 30, @08:04PM (6 children)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday July 30, @08:04PM (#1161479) Journal

          I don't defend China.

          But if I did, I would come up with something better than "whatabout Russia."

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @08:13PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @08:13PM (#1161481)

            And I don't defend the monkey people.

            • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @11:15PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @11:15PM (#1161524)

              Journey west, young monkey?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @04:43AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @04:43AM (#1161627)

              Think we should tell em they are monkey people? NM who wants to clean up that mess...

          • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @10:17PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @10:17PM (#1161513)

            And I wasn't defending Russia.
            Just pointing out the irony of your own knee-jerk reaction which was to point your finger back at Russia, Russia, Russia!.
            Must suck to automatically believe everything the MSM dumps in what's left of your head. There's a reason we call your type "NPCs".

            • (Score: 2, Funny) by Tork on Saturday July 31, @01:49AM (1 child)

              by Tork (3914) on Saturday July 31, @01:49AM (#1161587)

              Must suck to automatically believe everything the MSM dumps in what's left of your head.

              Heh. It's amazing how many people unironically say virtually the same thing you are, acronyms and all... almost like they're all hearing it from the same place.

              --
              Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @07:57PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @07:57PM (#1161476)

      Actually, China is the one getting good ol' Soviet expertise for their space pogrom.

      • (Score: 1) by anubi on Friday July 30, @08:07PM (1 child)

        by anubi (2828) on Friday July 30, @08:07PM (#1161480) Journal

        I guess Bezos and Musk got our laid off space designers.

        The US Congress did not need them anymore.

        We have too many homeless problems resulting from factory workers who used to have a job.

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @08:14PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @08:14PM (#1161482)

          Who got the laid off web designers? Maybe we can blame them!

      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Saturday July 31, @03:00PM

        by RS3 (6367) on Saturday July 31, @03:00PM (#1161707)

        Actually, China is the one getting good ol' Soviet expertise for their space pogrom.

        US also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RD-180 [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @08:39PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @08:39PM (#1161488)

      You think the Russians can't wreck a space station on their own?

    • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Friday July 30, @08:42PM (2 children)

      by captain normal (2205) on Friday July 30, @08:42PM (#1161490)

      How much of this project was outsourced to China?"
      ...or Russia.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @08:53PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @08:53PM (#1161493)

        Or USA unionized lazy white trash.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @03:03PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @03:03PM (#1161709)

          Hey now, we also have lots of lazy brown and black trash. (and lots of very motivated & productive of all colors)

    • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Tork on Friday July 30, @09:45PM

      by Tork (3914) on Friday July 30, @09:45PM (#1161504)

      How much of this project was outsourced to China?

      There we go, with that line of questioning we can drill STRAIGHT down to the answers!

      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @11:57PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 30, @11:57PM (#1161541)

      Don't you know anything? Like the drunken (redundant?) rusky said:

      "American parts, Russian parts - it's all made in China!"

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @03:39AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @03:39AM (#1161611)

        The quote was "all made in Taiwan!"

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @05:34AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @05:34AM (#1161632)

          You quote your drunk Russian, we'll quote our drunk Russian. What - you thought your Russian was the only one who could speak English?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @11:04AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @11:04AM (#1161667)

      Bullshit. Russians made this disaster themselves. Because they do this on the cheap and 'fuck it all, it will fly now because almost 20 years delayed'..

      This is 100% pure Russian issue caused by cutting corners. Anyway, I'm just glad it didn't crash into the station like the Progress ship crashed into MIR some 20+ years ago. So at least that's a positive.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @03:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @03:21PM (#1161714)

        It is possible to cut costs without being hot garbage. SpaceX is proof of that. The core problem is the "fuck it all" attitude as you put it that permeates Russian society. It was bad under the Communists and despite a brief glimmer of hope after the wall came down has only gotten worse under Putin.

        Like you I'm glad that the immediate danger passed without lasting harm but I don't think Nauka's problems are over. I just hope it doesn't catch fire.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Saturday July 31, @02:01PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Saturday July 31, @02:01PM (#1161689)

      "Russian components, American components ... ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!"

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @12:19AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 31, @12:19AM (#1161553)

    give us bitcoin or we jerk you around

    or

    the folks that built it forgot how it worked?

    It will be interesting to see what actually happened and how close they came to losing the station.
    Have we already piai for the module?
    Seems like they might owe some bug fixes and fuel.

  • (Score: 2) by Mojibake Tengu on Saturday July 31, @03:15AM

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Saturday July 31, @03:15AM (#1161600) Journal

    This tug-of-war offset the Nauka module thruster activity

    Just a "Science" module?
    Be glad it was not a Zeus cannon module...
    https://sputniknews.com/military/202107091083345504-russias-nuclear-powered-space-tug-zeus-can-disable-enemy-spacecraft-systems-designer-says/ [sputniknews.com]

    --
    The edge of 太玄 cannot be defined, for it is beyond every aspect of design
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Saturday July 31, @05:31PM (2 children)

    by tangomargarine (667) on Saturday July 31, @05:31PM (#1161746)

    Flight controllers at NASA and Roscosmos averted a disaster on Thursday after a large Russian module docked with the International Space Station and began to "inadvertently" fire its thrusters.

    After that, Russian cosmonauts aboard the station began

    I get that we're paranoid about Russia these days, but do you really think they're going to purposely do something for political reasons that endangers their own cosmonauts?

    We already have the old joke about everything made in Russia being crap. Do we really need to immediately jump to conspiracy theories guys

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by acid andy on Saturday July 31, @07:11PM

      by acid andy (1683) on Saturday July 31, @07:11PM (#1161768) Homepage Journal

      Yeah there's some serious intellectual laziness going on here, in the tech community as well as everywhere else. Putin's no saint, sure, but people are too quick to swallow all this anti-Russia sentiment in the media without question. We should question all news, not just the news that makes us uncomfortable or is counter to our tribe's established narrative.

      --
      Where did that thought come from? And that one? What about this one? Woah, man...
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, @07:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, @07:57PM (#1162029)

      This is a textbook case of something being adequately explained by incompetence. As you correctly point out malice would require even greater incompetence, so Occam also applies.

(1)