Several months and a series of extravehicular flights will still be necessary to make the Nauka fully functional and integrated into the International Space Station. This is the first time in eleven years that a new Russian unit has joined the orbiting laboratory.
The process has been closely scrutinized by the European Space Agency (ESA), with Nauka taking one of his equipment with him, the ERA robotic arm, which will be installed outside the unit.
15 years late
After the successful launch and its placement into orbit, the Nauka’s trajectory was marked by several technical problems, which forced Roscosmos to maneuver and for a while raised fears that the module would not be able to reach the International Space Station.
“We were worried for the first three days, there was a loss of telemetry,” said Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian Space Agency, adding that “a government commission will analyze all the observations.”
Josef Aschbacher, Director General of the European Space Agency, commented on Twitter, NASA and Boeing Space Special Representative, also congratulating the Russian Space Agency, saying: “Congratulations to all concerned.”
The International Space Station and space exploration remain a rare area in which international cooperation operates, in a period of tensions between Russia and Western countries.
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