An intended reboost maneuver of the International Space Station stopped after just 5 seconds for reasons which are presently unknown.
Cargo ships landed at the International Space Station regularly flame their thrusters in short bursts to maintain the orbiting laboratory at its gliding altitude. Generally, these vehicles are Russian Progress capsules; however, on Monday, a Northrop Grumman Cygnus vehicle was intended to complete a five-minute burn to analyze whether the capsule is prepared to perform this duty regularly.
The engine started firing at 11:20 a.m. EDT (1520 GMT) but shut down after almost five seconds, as per a NASA statement. Northrop Grumman isn’t sure about what caused the abortion, the agency reported.
Scientists figured that the debris, likely a reminder of Russia’s November 2021 anti-satellite test, might have appeared as close as 0.5 miles (0.8 km) to the station without the defensive maneuver.
The Cygnus capsule presently in orbit appeared at the laboratory in February. Astronauts have been storing the vehicle with trash before its intended destruction in Earth’s atmosphere this month. However, before that occurs, NASA wants to notch the reboost experiment, designated to become a standard exercise for Cygnus vehicles.
“NASA and Northrop Grumman flight controllers are reviewing data from today’s attempt and will develop a plan for the next steps needed to continue development of this enhanced capability as a standard service for NASA,” agency officials composed in today’s statement.