Failure of Russian thrusters temporarily pushed the ISS into a different position

The International Space Station unexpectedly rotated 57 degrees on its own axis last Friday as thrusters from a Russian Soyuz module burned for too long. There were no injuries and no one was in danger, according to the Russian space agency.

The incident happened last Friday during a check of the Soyuz MS-18 module by Russian astronaut Oleg Novitsky, according to The New York Times. That module has been docked to the ISS since April this year and brought Russian actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko back to Earth this weekend after their short stay on the ISS where they shot a movie.

“During the audit, the MS-18 module’s thrusters were tested but temporarily stopped turning themselves off,” a NASA spokeswoman said. This caused the International Space Station to rotate 57 degrees on its own axis, a situation that employees of the Russian space agency Roscosmos corrected. That situation was rectified after half an hour and no further damage to the ISS was noted.

Roscosmos released a brief statement about the incident, but did not provide additional details. Timothy Creamer, a NASA employee, suspects that the thrusters eventually failed to fire after reaching a certain limit that caused them to shut down. According to the man, NASA is still waiting for the results of the Roscosmos research.

Update, 13:10: contradiction in the article on the ignition of the thrusters corrected.

Soyuz MS-18 (c) NASA