The International Space Station was thrown for a whirl Thursday when a Russian space module randomly fired its rocket propellers hours after it docked, NASA says. The module had docked early Thursday, but as its operators in Moscow were performing post-docking reconfigurations, the jet propellers oddly restarted around 12:45 p.m., pushing the ISS out of its normal orbit. The flight director called for a “spacecraft emergency” as the ground team worked to restabilize the station. The team eventually started the propellers of another module on the station, regaining orientation within the hour. According to NASA, the crew was never in any danger and “really didn’t feel any movement.”
The Russian module Nauka serves as an extension of Russia’s operations on the ISS. It houses a research lab, storage facility, and airlock.