Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
International Space Station thrown out of control by misfire of Russian module -NASA
The International Space Station (ISS) was thrown briefly out of control on Thursday when jet thrusters of a newly arrived Russian research module inadvertently fired a few hours after it was docked to the orbiting outpost, NASA officials said. The seven crew members aboard – two Russian cosmonauts, three NASA astronauts, a Japanese astronaut and a European space agency astronaut from France – were never in any immediate danger, according to NASA and Russian state-owned news agency RIA.
Russia blames software glitch after space station briefly thrown out of control
A software glitch, and possible lapse in human attention, were to blame for throwing the International Space Station out of control, but work was proceeding to activate a newly attached module at the centre of the mishap, Russian space officials said on Friday. Jet thrusters on the Russian research module Nauka inadvertently reignited on Thursday a few hours after it had docked to the space station, causing the entire orbital outpost to pitch out of its normal flight position some 250 miles above the Earth with seven crew members aboard.
NASA on Thursday postponed a planned launch of a Boeing CST-100 Starliner capsule to the International Space Station after the orbiting outpost was briefly thrown out of control by jet thrusters inadvertently activated on a newly docked Russian module, NASA said. The Starliner launch delay was announced a day before it was due for blastoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida atop a Boeing Lockheed Martin Corp Atlas V rocket. NASA said the space agency and Boeing decided to push back the launch date to Aug. 3, with Aug. 4 set as an immediate backup.
A U.S. government watchdog on Friday sided with NASA over its decision to pick a single lunar lander provider, rejecting a protest filed by Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics Inc. The companies had challenged the $2.9 billion award to Elon Musk’s SpaceX for the lander, arguing NASA was required to make multiple awards. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said it “denied the protest arguments that NASA acted improperly in making a single award to SpaceX.”
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