MOSCOW: The launch of Russia’s Nauka multifunctional laboratory module to the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled for July 21, Head of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said.
The launch of the Nauka research module to the orbital outpost was previously scheduled for July 15.
“The delivery of a Proton-M carrier rocket with the Nauka multifunctional laboratory module for the ISS Russian segment to the Baikonur launch pad is scheduled for July 17, and the launch for July 21 while July 22 and July 23 are the backup dates,” Rogozin wrote in his Telegram channel.
As Roscosmos specified, the launch is scheduled for 5:54 p.m. Moscow time from site No. 200 of the Baikonur spaceport. The Nauka research module will travel eight days to reach the orbital outpost.
“The docking to the nadir port of the Zvezda service module is scheduled for about 4:26 p.m. Moscow time on July 29,” the space agency said.
The Nauka module will dock to the place of the Pirs module that will be sunk on July 23, it said.
“The Progress MS-17 resupply ship is scheduled to undock together with the Pirs docking compartment module, which will be replaced by the Nauka module on the ISS, on July 23 (provided that the Nauka lab is launched on July 21),” Roscosmos said.
As the Russian space agency specified, the resupply ship and the Pirs module will re-enter the dense layers of the atmosphere, and their non-combustible fragments will splash down in the non-navigable part of the Pacific Ocean four hours after the undocking.
About the Nauka module
The Nauka multi-functional laboratory module is designated for implementing the Russian program of applied research and experiments. With the launch of the Nauka research module into operation, the Russian segment of the International Space Station will get additional space for equipping workplaces, storing cargoes, and accommodating water and oxygen regeneration equipment.
The Nauka module will provide a second toilet for Russian cosmonauts (the first is located in the Zvezda module), and a room for a third crewmember. It will also use the European Robotic Arm (ERA) that will help perform some operations without spacewalks.