MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Specialists have identified a number of technical concerns regarding the Nauka multifunctional space laboratory module, so its launch will hardly be possible in November, Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin told TASS in an interview.
"Specialists of the Khrunichev center and the military acceptance inspection have voiced some technical concerns. They are being fixed," Rogozin said.
According to the official, even if the module is delivered to the Baikonur space center as scheduled, in March, its further tests will take at least seven months.
"I believe that the launch will take place in late 2020 or early 2021," he said.
According to the official, some of the module’s systems were built 18 years ago and had to be upgraded or replaced.
"Before sending it to Baikonur, we will need to complete all manipulations that are possible only at the production site. It does not matter whether it [the delivery to Baikonur] takes place a month later or a month earlier. What really matters is to make this spacecraft fly, and I hope for that," he said.
The module was initially scheduled to arrive to Baikonur in early January, but the delivery was postponed due to additional adjustments required for its propellant tanks.
Earlier, Rogozin said the research module’s original propellant tanks, manufactured about 18 years ago, could be replaced with those from the Fregat booster. However, later it was decided to send the module to the ISS with its original tanks.