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A Russian spacecraft docks with the International Space Station for the first time in 11 years

A Russian spacecraft docks with the International Space Station for the first time in 11 years

Posted:

July 29, 2021 15:38 GMT

The “Nauka” module will replace the Pirs module, which separated from the International Space Station and plunged into the Pacific Ocean on July 26.

On Thursday, the new Russian Modular Laboratory “Noka” is docked at the International Space Station. It was launched on July 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and is the first unit that Russia has sent into space in the past 11 years. During eight days of the flight, the observers evaluated the functioning of their systems.

The platform will replace the Pirs module, which previously detached from the space station and fell into the Pacific Ocean. This unit It has been in service for 20 years. With its own lock, the crew performed 52 spacewalks, and also served to receive the Soyuz and Progress spacecraft.

The variant “Nauka” stands out for its dimensions: 13 meters longIt weighs more than 20 tons and has 56 square meters of solar panels. It is expected to contribute to the development of the Russian part of the International Space Station, and in the future could serve as the basis for a new independent Russian orbital platform.

The multi-purpose laboratory unit “Nauka” is designed to conduct experiments and scientific research. Once operational, the Russian sector of the International Space Station will be able to have more working space as well Store more cargo and equipment Designed to replenish water and oxygen.

The arrival of the new unit for Russian cosmonauts will provide a second toilet and a cabin for the third team member, as well as European robotic arm ERA, which will allow you to perform some tasks without having to go to space.

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Space researcher Jose Oliver Seneca believes that the ‘Nokka’ module could be Russia’s first step towards creating a new independent space station. He notes that the country is already planning to release more units in the coming years.