In order to switch the docking ports, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft took a little spin around the ISS or the International Space Station. This was done to facilitate the docking of another spacecraft scheduled to arrive this week.
NASA termed this as a little ‘space drive’. In this space drive, Alexander Skotsov, a Roscosmos cosmonaut took manual control of the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft and flew it to a different docking spot called the Poisk module, located at the top of the spacestation. This cleared up space at the Zvezda module side of the spacestation for an unpiloted Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft that had to abort its rendezvous scheduled on Saturday. The space was somewhere over East Beijing and sailing at a height of 418 kilometers when all this happened.
Alexander Skotsov was accompanied by NASA’s Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano from the European Space Agency during the 24 min flight in space. This trio also used the same spacecraft to reach the ISS and is scheduled to leave for earth by the end of the year.
The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft was supposed to dock itself to the Poisk module earlier on Saturday but had to abort due to issue with the Kurs navigation system. Since that failed attempt the spacecraft has been traveling at a safe distance behind the international space station.
Russian flight controllers have suspected that there was an issue with the Poisk module signal amplifier and Zvezda module can still be used. As there was no human crew in the spacecraft Manual control couldn’t be done like Alexander Skotsov did with the Soyuz MS-13. Now, the next docking attempt using the Zvezda module is scheduled to happen on Monday.
The Soyuz MS-14 is carrying vital food and other supplies that weigh up to 658 Kg. along with a humanoid robot called Skybot F-850. These supplies are for the 6-person crew of expedition 60.