ISS Position Shift Caused By Russian Spacecraft is Not a Problem

The International Space Station’s (ISS) docked Russian spacecraft caused the ISS to shift positions a little, moving away from its normal orbital orientation. This happened after the Russian spacecraft accidentally fired its engines at 10:27am CT, this past Tuesday. It was while testing the radio system that controls docking.  The Soyuz TMA-15M vehicle (there is one other Soyuz spacecrafts) was actually due to bring astronauts back to Earth tomorrow.

Reorienting the ISS for a Return

NASA immediately moved to reorient the ISS. They assured in their blog, “there was no threat to the crew or the station itself, and the issue will have no impact to a nominal return to Earth of the Soyuz TMA-15M on Thursday.” The Soyuz vehicle will reenter our atmosphere with three out of six crew members aboard the ISS. They include European Space Agency’s (ESO) Samantha Cristoforetti, Russian astronaut Anton Shkaplerov, and American astronaut Terry Virts.

Why Crew In Space For 200 Days

Cristoforetti, Shkaplerov, and Virts were all expected to return to Earth on May 14. However, those plans had been pushed back due to the resupply pod Progress M-27M accelerating out of control and blowing up. It contained three tons of supplies such as fodo, water, oxygen and science equipment. This turned out to be a stroke of good for Cristoforetti though. Due to the mission delays, Cristoforetti ended up breaking the record for the longest a woman’s ever spent in space. She would have been in space 200 days by the time she returns to Earth. The previous record was Sunita Williams’ and it was 195 days.

Rest Assured

The slight change is not really a crisis for the ISS but rather more of an abnormality. Shifting position is something that is usually done intentionally. Russian space agency Roscosmos said that their specialists are still attempting to determine the cause of the accidental engine firing. NASA also assures they will provide more informations as it comes.

A perfect Space Adventures for your beloved youngsters that’ll get them dreaming about being one of the crew: