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Russia’s research module for orbital outpost passes final trials

The Nauka will be sent to the International Space Station in 2021, according to the current plans
International Space Station Marc Ward/Shutterstock/FOTODOM
International Space Station
© Marc Ward/Shutterstock/FOTODOM

MOSCOW, July 10. /TASS/. The Nauka (Science) multi-functional laboratory module that Russia is planning to send to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2021 has successfully passed trials in a vacuum chamber and will be dispatched to the Baikonur spaceport on July 21-23, the State Space Corporation Roscosmos reported on Friday.

"Important and long-awaited news: the Nauka orbital module has successfully passed final tests in a vacuum chamber of the Khrunichev Center. There are no faults as all of them were removed in the process of the work," Roscosmos announced on its Twitter.

Now Russia’s Energia Space Rocket Corporation will deal with pre-launch trials, it specified. "The delivery to the Baikonur is scheduled for July 21-23," Roscosmos explained.

The Russian Space journal issued by Roscosmos earlier reported that the module would be sent into orbit to join the International Space Station in the second quarter of 2021. Roscosmos Executive Director for Science and Long-Term Programs Alexander Bloshenko told TASS in April that the experiment Vampire would be carried out in the module to create crystals for the latest infrared sensors that will be used on satellites of the Sfera orbital grouping. An experiment to develop embryos in quail eggs is also planned to be conducted in the module.

Russia’s Nauka research module

The module’s construction began in 1995. Russia initially planned to launch the Nauka lab to the ISS as a back-up of the Zarya compartment (the station’s first module that continues its flight as part of the orbital outpost) but the launch was numerously delayed. In 2013, the Nauka module was sent to the Khrunichev Space Center after metal chips were found in its fuel system.

The Nauka multi-functional laboratory module can generate oxygen for six people and regenerate water from the urine. The Nauka will provide a second toilet for Russian cosmonauts (the first is located in the Zvezda module) and a room for the third crewmember. It will also use the European Robotic Arm (ERA) that will help perform some operations without spacewalks.