The International Space Station (ISS) briefly fell out of position on Thursday evening when the newly connected Russian Nauka module suddenly started its thrusters.
This caused the ISS to rotate about 45 degrees.
Motors from other modules allowed the space station to be brought back into balance.
The Nauka module arrived at the ISS on Thursday afternoon, where it delivered, among other things, the Dutch robot arm that should help astronauts on spacewalks.
Problems arose three hours after pairing, when the thrusters ignited "accidentally and unexpectedly," according to NASA spokesman Rob Navias.
As a result, the space station lost its controlled posture for 47 minutes.
That almost never happens.
"The crew has never been in danger," Navias said Thursday evening.
Still, the crew was instructed to look outside to make sure the station was not hit by space debris.
When the balance was restored, Nauka administrators in Russia immediately set to work to ensure that the engines would not start again.
It is not known exactly how the problems arose.
"Yeehaw!" tweeted NASA flight director Zebulon Scoville when his shift ended on Thursday.
"That. Was. One. Day."
After the recovery, the further daily schedule for astronauts on board was scrapped and they worked on inspection of the Nauka module.
These are not the first problems with the Nauka module, which should have left for the ISS in 2007.
The launch was delayed due to technical problems.
But last week's journey was not without fits and starts.
For example, there were already engine problems after launch and the system with which the module had to be connected to the ISS faltered.
Those problems were solved along the way.
.@Space_Station crew members are safe and will scrub their schedules for today in order to focus on recovery efforts following the unexpected loss of attitude caused by the Russian Nauka module's thrusters firing.
The station is back in attitude control and is in good shape.
AuthorNASAMoment of Places18: 02 - 29 July 2021