The human factor could have been the reason for the accidental starting of the Soyuz-TMA engines on October 28, when Russian Yuri Malenchenko, American Edward Lu and Spaniard Pedro Duke were returning from the International Space Station. The suggestion was voiced by Valeri Ryumin, deputy general designer of the Energia corporation.
The short-lived starting of the Soyuz engines turned the ISS almost 25 degrees and "a lot of fuel" was required to level off the station, Ryumin said.
"Automatics had to be prompted", he is sure. Asked if the human factor was involved, Ryumin said: "Things do not happen on their own in automatics. It was not a lightning discharge, which hits suddenly".
Ryumin also added that no failures happened in the ship's automatic control panel, as some media say.
At the same time, the Energia deputy general designer would not like to put the entire blame on the crew: "It surely was an accident. No ill intent was meant in the cosmonauts' operations and we like their work".