Russia: On Wednesday (21), Russia successfully launched a laboratory module that will be added to the International Space Station (ISS). The capsule will provide more space for scientific experiments and for the Russian crew.
Carrying the module, the Proton-M rocket took off from the Russian space launch facility at Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Already in orbit, the navigation antennas and solar panels were correctly activated.
The Nauka, also known as the Multi-Purpose Laboratory Module, will dock at the ISS in automatic mode on July 29th. Before that, the Pirs spacewalk compartment — one of the oldest Russian capsules — will be scrapped to free up space.
Russian space controllers plan to carry out the maneuver this Friday (23). The procedure must take place after the astronauts verify that the systems of the new module are operating correctly and prepared to dock at the station.
Russian ISS crews performed two spacewalks to connect cables in preparation for the Nauka’s arrival. After the module is docked at the station, new actions will be carried out in early September before the start of operations.