What is Nauka? Know all about the biggest space lab launched by Russia
Nauka means science in Russian. It is the largest lab built by Russia to be used in space. The Russian module Pirs earlier was used as a docking port for spacecraft. It was also be used by cosmonauts to go out on spacewalks but was detached from the lab and in its place Russian space agency has sent a larger module Nauka to serve the country's main research facility at ISS. Take a look at the tweet done by NASA below.
At 6:55am ET, the @Roscosmos Progress 77 cargo spacecraft & Pirs docking compartment both undocked from the @Space_Station. The departure makes way for the new Russian science module, Nauka, to link up to the orbital outpost: https://t.co/uX16n79Ma1 pic.twitter.com/70cg4WNOAw— NASA (@NASA) July 26, 2021
Nauka is the collaborative effort of NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe) and CSA (Canada).
Во время работы двигателя грузового корабля #ПрогрессМС16 в 17:15:38 по московскому времени получено еще одно изображение с измерительного пункта ИПМ РАН, расположенного в районе города Уссурийск. pic.twitter.com/1KJx1yWoMI— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) July 26, 2021
It was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 21 using a Proton rocket. It will be integrated with ISS on July 29, 2021.
UPDATE: #Nauka's main engines (pictured in operation) are currently out of commission. Specialists are troubleshooting the issue and developing a backup rendezvous plan. The module has ~30 stable orbits at current altitude. EXCLUSIVE DETAILS: https://t.co/KZE3WlnXSu pic.twitter.com/uEAP4irjyi— Anatoly Zak (@RussianSpaceWeb) July 22, 2021
Take a look at the launch of the biggest space laboratory by Russia below.
Functions of Nauka:
- It is a 42 feet long space lab weighing almost 20 tonnes. It is the biggest space laboratory Russia has launched till date and would primarily serve as a research facility.
- It has also been given the task to take another oxygen generator to ISS along with a spare bed, a toilet and a robotic cargo crane built by European Space Agency.
- This new module was sent using a Proton rocket which is the most powerful one in Russia's space inventory.
- Nauka will be attached to the critical Zvezda module on ISS and provide the space station's life support systems. The Zvezda module also serves as the structural and functional centre of Russian Orbital Segment (ROS).
- It would take as many as 11 Russian spacewalks to fully integrate Nauka with the ISS and this would be completed over a period of 7 months.
LIFTOFF of the Proton-M carrier rocket carrying the #Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module and the #EuropeanRoboticArm to the @Space_Station from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 16:58 CEST, 21 July 2021! pic.twitter.com/13HrNzbw7l— ESA (@esa) July 21, 2021
The non-combustible structural elements of the #ProgressMS16 cargo ship and the #Pirs module fell in a non-navigable area of the Pacific Ocean.— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) July 26, 2021
Thank you for your work, Progress and Pirs! pic.twitter.com/Cgb900lDNp
Nauka is replacing Pirs, the module on Zvezda, which was a smaller structure that was only used as a docking port for Russian spacecraft.
Piers and the cargo ship would get burnt on reaching the Earth's atmosphere and are expected to fall away in the Pacific Ocean.