Prichal Module Docks with International Space Station

Progress M-UM with Prichal node module approaches the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On Friday, November 26, 2021, at 18:19:39 Moscow time, the Progress M-UM cargo module cargo vehicle successfully docked to the Russian segment of the International Space Station. Progress delivered to the ISS the Prichal docking node, the second Russian module, which was added to the station in 2021.

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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.

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Last Week in the Dmitrys: Roscosmos, Glavkosmos Bosses Talk SpaceX, Tourism and More

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The International Astronautical Congress wrapped up last week in Dubai. Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin and Glavkosmos boss Dmitry Loskutov held forth during the conference on SpaceX, space tourism and other topics.

Roscosmos is the state-owned corporation that runs Russia’s space program. Glavkosmos is Roscosmos’ commercial arm.

Cosmonauts to fly on Crew Dragon: Rogozin said SpaceX’s Crew Dragon now has enough flights under its belt for Russian cosmonauts to fly aboard it. Crew Dragon has flown three crews to the International Space Station (ISS) and a group of amateur astronauts on a three-day orbital flight. Roscosmos and NASA will pursue a barter agreement that will allow U.S. astronauts to fly on Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Before Crew Dragon began flights, NASA was paying Roscosmos $90 million per seat to fly its astronauts to ISS.

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Russian Soyuz Vehicle Causes Another Loss of Attitude Control on Space Station

The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship, pictured, will relocate from the Russian Rassvet module to the Nauka module on Sept. 28. (Credits: NASA)

A Russian Soyuz crew vehicle set to return to Earth tomorrow caused the International Space Station to lose its attitude control on Friday morning when its thrusters fired longer than planned. It was the second such incident on the station involving a Russian vehicle this year.

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NASA Sets Landing Coverage for Russian Cosmonaut, Actress, Producer

Actress Yulia, Peresild, cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, director Klim Shipenko and and backup crew member Alena Mordovina. (Credit: Roscosmos)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will provide complete coverage as three space travelers living aboard the International Space Station, including a Russian actress and her producer-director, return to Earth just after midnight on Sunday, Oct. 17.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos will be at the controls of the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, flanked by Russian actress Yulia Peresild and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko, for the spacecraft’s undocking from the station’s Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module Saturday, Oct. 16. The trio will make a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan a little more than three hours later, at 12:36 a.m. EDT (10:36 a.m. Kazakhstan time) Sunday, Oct. 17.

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ISS Incident Was Worse Than NASA Reported

Nauka module docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos)

The New York Times reports that the incident last week when the new Russian Nauka module on the International Space Station unexpectedly fired its thrusters was far worse than NASA reported last week. The rotation of the station went far beyond 45 degrees. NASA Mission Control Flight Director Zebulon Scoville told The Times:

In an interview, Mr. Scoville described how the International Space Station spun one-and-a-half revolutions — about 540 degrees — before coming to a stop upside down. The space station then did a 180-degree forward flip to get back to its original orientation...

The new Russian module is docked on the underside of the space station. When Nauka tried to move, it pulled down the rear of the space station, and the front pitched upward. “It’s exactly like doing a back flip,” Mr. Scoville said.

The rate of rotation reached a maximum of 0.56 degrees a second, Mr. Scoville said. That spinning is not nearly fast enough to generate significant artificial gravity — he said the astronauts reported almost no noticeable change in conditions within the station.

After about 15 minutes, Nauka’s thrusters petered out. Mr. Scoville said he did not know why, although reports said the module had used up its propellant. The mission controllers could then more easily bring the station to a halt. “After doing that back flip one-and-a-half times around, it stopped and then went back the other way,” Mr. Scoville said.

A key problem was the newly arrived module could only be controlled from the Russian mission control center. The ISS crew couldn’t shut down the thrusters on their own.

Roscosmos has attributed the incident to a software problem.

A Video Look Inside the New Nauka Module on the Space Station

Video Caption: Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, who is now aboard the International Space Station, published a video tour of the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module, which on July 29 docked to the ISS in normal mode. The footage shows how he, together with Peter Dubrov, opens the hatches into the new Russian module, after which they move into it. Then a small excursion through the “Science” itself begins.

Earliest Launch Opportunity for NASA’s Boeing OFT-2 Mission is Aug. 3

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is secured atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on July 17, 2021. Starliner will launch on the Atlas V for Boeing’s second Orbital Flight Test (OFT-2) for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The spacecraft rolled out from Boeing’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center earlier in the day. (Credits: Boeing/John Grant)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE BASE, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA and Boeing have elected to stand down from Friday’s launch attempt of the agency’s second Orbital Flight Test (OFT-2) mission. Currently, the earliest available launch opportunity is 1:20 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 3. The International Space Station team will use the time to continue working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos Nauka multipurpose laboratory module (MLM) and to ensure the station will be ready for Starliner’s arrival.

Launch preparations will resume following a final decision from the International Space Station and Commercial Crew Program teams for the next opportunity to send Starliner on its way to complete the OFT-2 mission, which will set the stage for the first Crew Flight Test.

Earlier Thursday, Starliner atop its United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket was moved to its seaside launch pad for standard launch preparations. Teams are assessing moving the vehicle back to its Vehicle Integration Facility to protect it from weather until launch preparations resume. Starliner and Atlas V are in a safe, flight-ready configuration and do not require any near-term servicing.

The Atlas V was assembled throughout July, which included the transfer of Starliner from Boeing’s spacecraft processing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Launch Complex 41 for mating atop the rocket.

Space Station Stable After Earlier Unplanned MLM Thruster Firing

Nauka module docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Following the docking of the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM), named Nauka, to the International Space Station at 9:29 am EDT, Russian cosmonauts aboard the space station conducted leak checks between Nauka and the service module. At 12:45 pm, the flight control team noticed the unplanned firing of MLM thrusters that caused the station to move out of orientation. Ground teams have regained attitude control and the motion of the space station is stable.

The crew was never and is not in any danger, and flight controllers in Mission Control Houston are monitoring the status of the space station. Updates on the space station will be provided on NASA.gov and the agency’s social media pages.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and  @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

NASA, Boeing Postpone Starliner Launch Scheduled for Friday

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is secured atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on July 17, 2021. Starliner will launch on the Atlas V for Boeing’s second Orbital Flight Test (OFT-2) for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The spacecraft rolled out from Boeing’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center earlier in the day. (Credits: Boeing/John Grant)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA and Boeing have decided to stand down from Friday’s launch attempt of the agency’s Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. Currently, launch teams are assessing the next available opportunity. The move allows the International Space Station team time to continue working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos’ Nauka module and to ensure the station will be ready for Starliner’s arrival.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and  @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

More details about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the commercial crew blog@commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

New Russian ISS Nauka Module Starts Firing Thrusters Randomly; Atlas V Launch Postponed Indefinitely

Nauka module docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Russia’s new Nauka module started firing its thrusters randomly after it docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday as the crew on board struggled to shut the system down manually, a source familiar with the situation told Parabolic Arc.

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Nauka Science Module Docks with International Space Station

Nauka module docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — In accordance with the International Space Station flight program, today, July 29, 2021, at 16:29:06 Moscow time, the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module docked with the nadir docking port of the Zvezda service module of the ISS Russian segment. According to telemetry data and reports from the ISS crew, the on-board systems of the station and the “Nauka” module are functioning normally.

The multipurpose module “Nauka” was successfully launched into low-earth orbit on July 21, 2021 using a heavy launch vehicle “Proton-M”. After separating from the third stage, he was accepted for escort by the ground services of the TsNIIMash Mission Control Center near Moscow (part of the Roscosmos State Corporation), completed the construction of the required orientation, deployed solar panels and radio antennas, and then began an eight-day rendezvous program with the station.

At the autonomous rendezvous section, specialists from the Main Operational Control Group (LOCT, RSC Energia named after SP Korolev, part of Roscosmos) performed several firing of the module’s engines to raise and correct the orbit, as well as to enter the meeting area with the ISS at estimated time. The operations of flying around the station, hovering, docking and docking with the Zvezda service module were carried out under the supervision of LOCT specialists and Russian crew members of the long-term expedition ISS-65, Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Peter Dubrov. This docking was the first since 2010, when the small research module No. 1 “Rassvet” was docked to the station.

Within 1.5 hours after the completion of the docking, the cosmonauts will check the tightness of the docking connections and technological communications. At 18:15 Moscow time, it is planned to open the hatch of the transition compartment of the Zvezda module and in a few minutes more – the hatch of the new Russian module, as well as the entry of the crew into the living area of ​​the instrument-sealed compartment. The program of today’s work is limited to the installation of instruments for the analysis and purification of the atmosphere on board the arrived “Science”.

Final Nauka Module Orbit Correction Conducted Before Docking with ISS

The Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module undergoes final processing at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in preparation for its launch to the International Space Station on a Proton rocket. (Credits: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On Wednesday, July 28, 2021, specialists of the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module flight control group at the TsNIIMash Mission Control Center (part of Roscosmos) performed the final corrective maneuver of the module which had launched nominally from the Baikonur Cosmodrome a week ago.

The engines were fired at 13:43:07 UTC. According to telemetry information, the propulsion system of the module worked normally. No new orbit corrections are planned before the Nauka module docking with the Russian segment of the International Space Station, which is scheduled at 13:26 UTC on July 29, 2021. The live broadcast of the berthing and docking will begin on Roscosmos website and social media at 12:40 UTC.

Nauka is a multipurpose laboratory module for the Russian segment of the International Space Station. It was created by the cooperation of enterprises in order to implement the program of scientific experiments and expand the functionality of the Russian segment of the ISS. After its commissioning, the Russian segment will receive additional room for arranging workplaces and storing cargo, placing the water and oxygen regeneration equipment.

Controllers Make Another Orbital Correction for Nauka Module

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, specialists of the flight control group of the multipurpose module “Nauka” at the Mission Control Center of TsNIIMash (part of the State Corporation “Roscosmos”) routinely carried out a corrective maneuver of the module launched last Wednesday to the International Space Station.

The next firing for further orbit alignment is scheduled for July 28th.

The day before, the Progress MS-16 cargo vehicle with the Pirs module of the ISS Russian segment undocked from the Zvezda module of the International Space Station. Last night, Flight Control Center specialists examined the docking station of the nadir port of the service module, where it is planned to dock the multipurpose laboratory module. As a result of the analysis, the absence of mechanical interference for the docking was stated. Thus, the readiness of the docking assemblies for the planned docking of Nauka has been confirmed, and an unscheduled spacewalk is not required.

Thanks to the cosmonauts of Roskosmos Oleg Novitsky and Peter Dubrov, we can see the undocking of the Pirs module from the International Space Station in 4K quality.