Cosmic Kiss Mission Begins as Matthias Maurer Arrives at the Space Station

ESA astronaut of German nationality Matthias Maurer. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The four Crew-3 astronauts were launched in a new SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, called Endurance, atop a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA at 02:03 GMT/03:03 CET Thursday 11 November. They arrived at the Station around 22 hours later for a six-month stay in orbit. 

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European Robotic Arm to Handle the Space Station

The European Robotic Arm is the first robot that can ‘walk’ around the Russian part of the International Space Station. (Credit: ESA)

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (ESA PR) — The European Robotic Arm (ERA) is set for launch on a Proton rocket to the International Space Station on 21 July at 16:58 CEST. The first robot that can ‘walk’ around the Russian part of the orbital complex will be launched with the new Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan.

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Nauka Module Prepared for Launch to Space Station

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — At the Baikonur Cosmodrome, active preparations are underway for the Proton-M carrier rocket launch with the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module, scheduled for July 21, 2021. Roscosmos publishes the logo of the new Russian module of the International Space Station and its description. The logo has a traditional look coherent with those of Russian crewed missions. Nevertheless, some of its elements might need additional clarifications.

The Nauka Multifunctional Laboratory Module is pictured against the globe in the background in the very center of the emblem. The module is depicted in its operational configuration: with the ERA (European Robotic Arm) manipulator deployed, open porthole, and an airlock. The Russian tricolor encircling the module is referring to its origin. The name of the module (НАУКА, lit. ‘science’) is placed along the circumference of the emblem together with the year of its launch, the launch site (БАЙКОНУР, the Baikonur Cosmodrome) and the Proton-M carrier rocket (ПРОТОН-М) to take it into near-earth orbit.

The ellipses of three crossed orbits (stylistic interpretation of the orbitals of electrons in an atom) additionally refer to the scientific purpose of the module. The orbits are topped by the logos of Roscosmos and the head enterprises-manufacturers of the module – the Khrunichev Center and RSC Energia, both parts of Roscosmos.

The stars in the lower part symbolize the full composition of the Russian segment of the International Space Station. Large stars stand for the Zarya Functional Cargo Block, the Zvezda Service Module and the Nauka itself, which will become part of the segment on July 29. The other two stars stand for the Rassvet (MRM-1) and Poisk (MRM-2) research modules.