BAIKONUR COSMODROME /Kazakhstan/, July 21. /TASS/. A Proton-M carrier rocket with the Nauka (Science) multipurpose laboratory module has blasted off from the Baikonur spaceport, a TASS correspondent reports from the scene.
The rocket’s active flight will last 580 seconds (about 9 minutes) before the module’s separation.
Subsequently, the Nauka module will ignite its engines to approach the International Space Station (ISS). The module will travel for eight days to arrive at the ISS docking port. The docking is scheduled for 4:26 p.m. Moscow time on July 29.
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 crew member. It will also use the European Robotic Arm (ERA) that will help perform some operations without spacewalks.
The Proton-M is a Russian expendable launch vehicle that belongs to the family of Proton carrier rockets developed in the early 1960s. Proton rockets are used to deliver various space vehicles into outer space, including navigational, military, and commercial satellites and interplanetary automatic stations.