BAIKONUR /Kazakhstan/, November 24. /TASS/. Russia’s new nodal module Prichal will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, the press service of the Russian state-run space corporation Roscosmos has told TASS.
"In accordance with the Russian flight schedule of the International Space Station, the launch of the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Progress M-UM space freighter and the Prichal nodal module is scheduled for November 24, 2021," the organization said.
The launch is scheduled for 16:06:36 Mosow time. The upper stage, comprising the spacecraft and the module, will separate from the third stage approximately night minutes after the liftoff. The journey to the ISS will take two days. The docking with Russia’s multipurpose laboratory module Nauka is expected at 18:25 Moscow time on November 26.
Currently, the docking slot of the Nauka module is occupied by the Progress MS-17 space freighter. Its undocking is due at 14:18 Moscow time on November 25.
The overall weight of the payload to be delivered to the orbit during Wednesday's mission is 8.18 tonnes. Cosmonautics historian Alexander Zeleznyakov told TASS on November 23 that the launch would set a new record, becoming the heaviest-ever payload sent to the ISS atop a Soyuz-2 rocket.
Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin said that the new module would boost the capabilities of Russian spaceships, including the latest Oryol spacecraft, to dock with the ISS. It will have five docking slots. The first docking to Prichal is slated for March 18, 2022.
The spacecraft-module is also due to deliver about 700 kg of various cargo to the ISS, including expendable equipment and consumables, water purification, medical control including sanitary and hygienic supplies, maintenance and repair tools, as well as standard food rations for the 66th Main Expedition crew.