The International Space Station has been relocated after a 13-year wait for launch and a week of travel in low-earth orbit.
Russia Multipurpose laboratory module (MLM) “Science” (“Science” in Russian), docked at the space station on Thursday (July 29), eight days after more than a decade of delayed launch. The 22 ton (20 ton) MLM connected to the orbital complex at 9:29 am ET (13.29 GMT) using an open port that was recently vacated by the Pierce docking bay on the Earth-facing side of the Zvezda service module. … …
Connected: International Space Station at 20: photo tour
“Congratulations, the docking was not easy,” said Oleg Novitsky, a Russian cosmonaut at the flight control center, who was watching the approach from the space station.
Now attached with hooks and snaps, it is 43 feet long and 14 feet wide (13 by 4.3 meters). The science will live up to its name, providing enhanced scientific capabilities for the Russian segment of the station, as well as many other tasks.
“It will provide roll control for the International Space Station; it will ensure the transfer of fuel between Progress vehicles – unmanned cargo ships – that will arrive in the coming months and years; and it will serve as a docking port for manned Soyuz spacecraft and unmanned Progress spacecraft, ”NASA commentator Rob Navias said about the new module. “It will also serve as a docking port for the hub module – a docking port with multiple strokes – meaning it will be launched by the Russians later this year for additional vehicles and components to be attached to it as the Russian segment of the International Space Station is constantly expanding.”
The Science module also supplies and will serve as a base for work European robotic arm, a 36-foot (11 m) arm designed by the European Space Agency (ESA) to be the first externally mounted appendage designed specifically to serve the station’s Russian segment. The module will also provide additional crew accommodation, a new toilet and equipment for water and oxygen regeneration, which will improve the conditions for astronauts at the station and increase the safety of the entire crew of the International Space Station.
Launched July 21 On a Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, MLM performed six corrective maneuvers, firing the engines to improve its approach to the space station. The eight-day rendezvous also gave Russian air traffic controllers time to test the module’s communications antennas and its Kurs automated docking system, which were in use on Thursday.
It was only after it became known that Science was in good working order that Roskosmos, the Russian state space corporation, got down to work. disconnection of the docking compartment “Pirs” to free the port on the Star for the arrival of Science. The nearly 20-year-old Pirs, operated by the unmanned cargo spacecraft Progress, was destroyed during its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere on Monday (26 July).
Developed jointly by RSC Energia, the general contractor for space activities in Russia, and the State Space Research and Production Center named after Khrunichev, a division of Roscosmos, the Nauka module was based on the design of the Russian space stations Almaz and Salyut in the 1970s. up to the functional cargo block (FGB) “Zarya” and its backup device for the International Space Station.
It was originally planned to launch in 2007, but due to a number of technical issues, the deployment of Nauka was delayed for more than 13 years.
Science is now joining four other pressurized modules that make up the Russian segment of the International Space Station. In addition to the service module Zvezda and the FGB Zarya, the segment also has two mini-research modules – Search and Rassvet. Science is Russia’s largest (in terms of size) contribution to the construction of the station and the first new facility in the country since 2010.
Together with the US operating segment, the space station now has a total of 14 sealed modules.
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