But the drama over the station came true on Friday when it was tilted out of orbit during a thruster test on the capsule that brought the film crew back to Earth. Mr Novitsky had tested the engines, Roscosmos said, but they fired longer than expected, a NASA statement said. The station, which is the size of a football field, was tilted 57 degrees out of position, according to Russian mission control officials cited by Interfax, a Russian news agency.
The incident prompted Russian and NASA officials to act, and they corrected the station’s positioning within 30 minutes. This was the second such emergency since July, when Russia’s new Nauka module mistakenly fired its thrusters, moving the station a turn and a half – about 540 degrees – before stopping upside down. .
What caused the problems with the spacecraft’s thruster on Friday did not happen again when the film crew and Mr. Novitsky left the station on Saturday night.
“The Soyuz is in good condition, has been declared ready to take over undocking and landing tonight, and everything is in order for departure,” said Rob Navias, spokesman for NASA, during a live broadcast of the process.
The Russian space agency last year announced plans to send an actress to the space station shortly after plans emerged that Tom Cruise would travel to space as part of a movie. action-adventure directed by Doug Liman. Jim Bridenstine, who served as a NASA administrator under President Donald Trump, confirmed plans on Twitter at the time, but no updates on the film project have been released since then. Other International Space Station-centric entertainment projects could see the light of day in the coming years, including a Discovery Channel reality show competition titled “Who Wants To Be An Astronaut?”