Friday, July 23, 2021
After Being Delayed For 14 Years NAUKA Has Finally Launched.
Russia Averts Possible Disaster as New Space Station Module Finally Reaches Proper Orbit
Russia’s new space station module, dubbed Nauka, is currently en route to the ISS, but the spacecraft initially failed to complete its first orbit-raising burn, leading to concerns that it might not complete the trip. Thankfully, the Nauka team on Earth was able to perform a course correction, and the module is now in the proper orbit to continue its journey. Nauka, it would appear, is taking its bad luck along with it into space. The Russian Multipurpose Laboratory, as its formally known, has been in the works since the late 1990s, and it was supposed to launch back in 2007, but an array of technical problems—from dirty fuel tanks through to aging components—prevented this from happening. Two components of the module, the airlock and a radiator, were launched to the ISS 11 years ago, where they’ve been lying in wait ever since. The big day finally arrived yesterday when Nauka, along with Europe’s new robotic arm, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Proton-M rocket. The launch appeared to go well, with the 43,300-pound module reaching orbit and completing all three separation stages. The module is expected to arrive at the International Space Station on July 29, at which time it will dock to the nadir port of Russia’s Zvezda module. Source