Prichal Node Module Launched to International Space Station

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — On Wednesday, November 24, 2021, at 13:06:35 UTC, the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with the Prichal Node Module within the Progress M-UM cargo spacecraft-module was successfully launched from Site 31 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. 563 seconds into the flight, it separated from the third stage of the carrier and deployed its solar panels and antennas.

Specialists of the Lead Operations Control Team of the International Space Station Russian Segment (RSC Energia, part of Roscosmos) took over the new spacecraft-module flight control. According to telemetry information, the rocket nominally injected it into the target orbit with the following parameters:

  • Orbital period – 88.57 min;
  • Orbit inclination – 51.67 degrees;
  • Minimum orbital altitude: 193.00 km;
  • Maximum orbital altitude: 240.00 km.

The autonomous flight to the International Space Station will go according to a two-day schedule, and the docking to the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module is expected on November 26, 2021 at 15:26 UTC (± 3 min). Docking is planned in automatic mode under control of TsNIImash Mission Control Center specialists (part of Roscosmos) and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

Prichal nodal module (Credit: RSC Energia/Roscosmos)

Prior to the new module arrival, the Nauka module docking unit preparations are required. The unit is now occupied by the Progress MS-17 cargo ship. On November 25 at 11:23 UTC, it is scheduled to undock together with the transition spacer, which ensures docking of Soyuz MS and Progress MS transport spacecraft. Thus, the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module will be able to dock with the incoming Prichal Node Module.

Progress M-UM module will deliver 700 kg of cargo to the International Space Station: expendable equipment and consumables, water purification, medical and sanitary, maintenance and repair means, as well as standard food rations.

The Prichal Node Module is a spherical pressurized compartment with target components inside and outside. It is designed to enhance technical and operational capabilities of the International Space Station Russian Segment. Its further development is ensured by docking transportation systems, including advanced ones, to the Node Module.