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Russia’s Mission Control says no faults for Nauka module’s docking with orbital outpost

The Russian space agency stressed that the docking assemblies were ready for the Nauka module’s planned docking and the effort required no unscheduled extra-vehicular activity

MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. Russia’s Mission Control has found no mechanical faults for the docking of the latest Nauka (Science) multi-purpose laboratory module with the International Space Station (ISS) and this effort requires no unscheduled extra-vehicular activity, the State Space Corporation Roscosmos announced on Tuesday.

"Last night, Mission Control specialists examined the docking assembly of the Zvezda module’s nadir port where the Nauka multi-purpose laboratory module is due to be docked. As a result of the analysis, the specialists pointed to the absence of mechanical faults for the docking," Roscosmos said in a statement posted on its Telegram channel.

The docking assemblies are ready for the Nauka module’s planned docking and the effort requires no unscheduled extra-vehicular activity, the Russian space agency stressed.

Earlier, the ISS Russian segment’s Pirs module that was used as a docking port for crewed and resupply spaceships was undocked from the orbital outpost and sunk in a non-navigable part of the Pacific Ocean.

Its slot will now be taken up by the Nauka research lab that was launched on July 21 from the Baikonur spaceport. Initially, the Pirs module’s sinking in the Pacific was scheduled for July 23 but was postponed for three days.

Russia’s Nauka module

A Proton-M launch vehicle with the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:58 p.m. Moscow time on July 21. The module is currently staying in near-Earth orbit. As Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin said during the Nauka module’s launch, the ground-based signal reception station in Barnaul temporarily did not receive telemetric data. On July 22, the Nauka module test-ignited its engines and two orbit adjustments were conducted. On July 23 and 24, specialists carried out two more Nauka module orbit corrections.

The Nauka multi-functional laboratory module is for implementing a 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. The Nauka module will deliver water containers, handrails, ventilators, cables and other cargo to the ISS.