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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Nauka Science Module Docks with International Space Station


In accordance with the flight program of the International Space Station, today, July 29, 2021, at 13:29:01 UTC, the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module docked to the nadir docking port of the Zvezda Service Module of the ISS Russian segment. According to telemetry data and reports from the ISS crew, the on-board systems of the station and the Nauka module are functioning normally.

The Nauka multipurpose module was successfully launched into low-earth orbit on July 21, 2021 with a Proton-M heavy launch vehicle. After separating from the third stage, the module was acquired by the ground services of the TsNIIMash Mission Control Center near Moscow (part of Roscosmos), formed the required orientation, deployed solar panels and radio antennas, and commenced an eight-day rendezvous program with the station.

At the autonomous rendezvous stage, Chief Operating Control Group specialists (RSC Energia, part of Roscosmos) performed several firings of the module's engines to raise and correct the orbit, as well as to enter the meeting area with the ISS at estimated time. The operations of flying around the station, hovering, berthing and docking with the Zvezda service module were carried out under the supervision of the Group specialists and Russian crew members of the ISS-65 long-term expedition, Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. This was the first docking since 2010, when the Rassvet Mini Research Module No. 1 was docked to the station.

Within 1.5 hours after the completion of the docking, the cosmonauts will perform leak checks of the docking connections and technological communications. At 15:15 UTC, the Zvezda module transfer chamber hatch is to be opened with the new Russian module hatch to follow a few minutes later. After that the crew will enter the habitable area of the instrument-pressurized compartment. The program of today's work is limited to the installation of instruments for the analysis and purification of the atmosphere on board the newly arrived Nauka module.

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