International Space Station briefly off-center after Russian engine ignites

The International Space Station came out of its orbital axis Friday, after the ignition of the engines of a Russian spacecraft, announced Moscow, affirming however that the problem had been solved and that there was “no danger”.

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The Soyuz MS-18 thruster test resulted in “a temporary reorientation of the International Space Station” (ISS), Russian space agency Roscosmos said in a statement.

Normal focus “was promptly restored by the action” of Russian ISS personnel, Roscosmos added. “The station and the teams on board are not in danger,” insisted the Russian agency.

This is not the first time that such an incident has occurred aboard the ISS, an international science laboratory that orbits the Earth.

In July, the unexpected ignition of the engines of the Russian Nauka module, docked at the ISS, had moved the station 45 degrees out of position. The crew had to turn on the thrusters for the Russian segment of the station to restore it.

The Russian space industry has encountered many difficulties in recent years, between failed launches and corruption scandals, but it wants to relaunch with ambitious projects, such as building its own space station or a lunar base with China.

The new incident comes as Roscosmos prepares to bring back to Earth a Russian actress and director aboard the ISS to shoot the first film in orbit and anticipate an American project with Tom Cruise.

Actress Yulia Peressild and director Klim Chipenko, who joined the ISS on October 5, are due to return on Sunday with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky.

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