MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. Russian specialists will wrap up work on the propulsion unit of the Nauka multi-purpose laboratory module following the unplanned firing of its thrusters after its docking with the International Space Station (ISS), Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos reported on Friday.
Russia’s latest Nauka research lab was launched from the Baikonur spaceport on July 21. After the module docked with the orbital outpost on July 29, NASA said in a live webcast that the module’s thrusters suddenly ignited, causing the station to move out of orientation. NASA later said that ground teams had regained attitude control, and the motion of the space station was stable.
Roscosmos explained that work was underway to switch the module from its ‘flight’ to the ‘docked with the ISS mode.’ The crew is also carrying out work with the remainder of the propellant in the module.
"On July 30, 2021, specialists of the Main Operational Control Group (part of the Energia Space Rocket Corporation within Roscosmos) will wrap up the procedures with the Nauka module’s propulsion unit for the purposes of the complete safety of both the International Space Station and the entire crew," the statement says.
After this work is completed, the module’s hatches will be opened. The Russian crew aboard the ISS will first open the transfer compartment and then the module itself, Roscosmos said.
"Specialists from the Main Operational Control Group and crewmembers of the ISS Expedition 65 were certain that the main joint was airtight. The flight of the International Space Station continues under the approved program," Roscosmos added.
The Nauka multi-purpose 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 receive 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.