On Wednesday morning, Russia will attempt to launch a Proton-M rocket to the International Space Station. The purpose of the mission is to deliver Russia’s new “Nauka” module to the International Space Station, along with a sleek new robotic arm built by the European Union. You can watch the event live here.
The Proton-M carrier rocket is scheduled to launch at 10:58 a.m. EDT (7:58 a.m. PDT) on Wednesday, July 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Packed on top of the rocket is a new ISS unit officially known as the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory, but friends know it as the Nauka. The European robotic arm (ERA), which was created for the European Space Agency, is about to take off. NASA coverage of the launch begins at 10:30 a.m. EDT (7:30 a.m. PDT).
The cargo won’t reach the International Space Station until July 29, at which point the unit will join the lower docking point of the Zvezda Service Module, according to to Roscosmos. This port is currently occupied by the Pirs Mooring Cabin, which has been in operation for 20 years. Pierce will separate from the International Space Station on Friday, July 23 Then it burns up on its return through the Earth’s atmosphere (this action is subject to a successful launch of the Nauka module). As NASA Spaceflight Reports, Pirs will be the first ISS unit “to be decommissioned and removed from the outpost.”
Roscomos says Nauka “aims to expand the functionality of the Russian part of the International Space Station.” The new part will provide more space for experiments and Storage of goods and equipment (including equipment for replenishing water and oxygen) will “Improving the accommodation conditions for astronauts.”
Once deployed and operational, ERA will be the first robotic joint to service the Russian parts of the International Space Station. The 37-foot-long arm has independent capabilities, and will be able to “walk” along the outside of the International Space Station. The arm moves like a village worm, fixing its end points to the anchors located on the surface of the orbital outpost.
European Space Agency astronauts Thomas Pesquet, Matthias Maurer, Samantha Cristoforetti will support the installation of the arm from inside and outside the International Space Station. arm installation It would require five spacewalks, according to to ESA. The first tasks of the new arm will be to create an airlock and radiator for the Nauka unit.