The ISS flipped 540 degrees as a result of the Nauka engine incident last week. NASA said there were only 45 of them.

On July 29, a Russian module docked to the International Space Station (ISS) accidentally fired its engines, causing the 109-meter station to deviate from its normal position.

The first estimate from the US space agency NASA is that the ISS has rotated 45 degrees from its normal orientation. when the engines of the laboratory module “Science” started working..

We now know that it was much more.

Speaking to The newspaper “New York TimesNASA flight director Zebulon Scoville said the space station actually rotated 540 degrees – one and a half full rotations – before coming to a stop in an inverted position.

“Never Proud”

NASA confirmed the news in a tweet on Wednesday, stating that “Further analysis indicated that the total attitude change before normal attitude control was restored was ~540 degrees.”

Scoville, who shortly before the incident replaced another flight director, said that for the first time in his career, he was forced to declare a “spacecraft emergency.”

“I have never: 1) been so proud of the team that sits in the MCC [Mission Control Centre] and lives on @Space_Station, 2) had to declare a spacecraft emergency so far, 3) was so happy to see all solar panels + radiators still connected,” he tweeted.

The station must maintain a certain position – its orientation in space – in order to generate maximum power from its solar panels and stay in touch with the Earth.

‘No harm done’

In a tweet shortly after the incident, flight director Scoville summed up his impressions of what had happened.

NASA and Russian space corporation Roscosmos officials said neither the station nor its crew were in danger during the incident, which lasted about an hour.

On Wednesday, Roscosmos director of manned spaceflight, Sergei Krikalev, told Russian television that the incident did not cause any visible damage to the station.

“It looks like there is no damage, but specialists will have to assess how much we have loaded the station and what are the consequences,” he said.

“Continued analysis following last week’s Nauka unscheduled engine launch event indicated that the space station remains in good condition and its systems are operating normally,” NASA said on Wednesday.

“Most importantly, the maximum rate and acceleration of attitude change did not approach the safety limits for the station’s systems, and normal operation resumed after attitude control was restored.”