New Module Successfully Docks to Space Station

new module with solar panels flies near space station with Earth in background
Nauka approaches the space station, preparing to dock.

The uncrewed Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM), named Nauka, the Russian word for “science,” arrived at the International Space Station’s Poisk module on the space-facing side of the Russian segment at 9:29 a.m. EDT, eight days after lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  

Nauka will serve as a new science facility, docking port, and spacewalk airlock for future operations.

How to Watch “Nauka” Module dock to the Space Station on July 29

Nauka module before launch
Nauka module before launch in Baikonur.

NASA will provide live coverage of the automated docking of the uncrewed Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) to the International Space Station Thursday, July 29, beginning at 8:30 a.m.  

Named Nauka, the Russian word for science, the 43-foot long, 23-ton module launched on July 21 and will serve as a new science facility, docking port, and spacewalk airlock for future operations. 

To follow along live, tune into NASA Television, as well as the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Liftoff! Multipurpose Laboratory Module “Nauka” Launches to Space Station

The Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) “Nauka” launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:58 a.m. on July 21, 2021.

The uncrewed Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) “Nauka” is safely in orbit following launch at 10:58 a.m. (7:58 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The MLM deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas as planned. After Nauka completes eight days in free-flight to allow Russian flight controllers to evaluate its systems, the 43-foot long, 23-ton module will automatically link up to the port on the Earth-facing side of the Russian segment of the International Space Station, which will be vacated by the departure of Pirs. Docking is scheduled for 9:25 a.m. Thursday, July 29, with live coverage beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Nauka will serve as a new science facility, docking port, and spacewalk airlock for future operations. Pirs has been part of the space station since September 2001, functioning as a docking port for Russian visiting spacecraft and an airlock for Russian spacewalks.

Pirs will vacate the space station attached to the uncrewed ISS Progress 77 spacecraft, which is scheduled to undock at 9:15 a.m. Friday, July 23. Live coverage on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website will begin at 8:45 a.m. A few hours later, Progress’ engines will fire in a deorbit maneuver to send the cargo craft and Pirs into a destructive reentry in the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. Deorbit and reentry will not be covered on NASA TV.

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.

Watch Live as Russian Science Module Launches to Space Station

NASA Television, the agency’s website and the NASA app now are providing live coverage of a new Russian science module’s launch and automated docking to the International Space Station.

The uncrewed Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM), named Nauka, the Russian word for “science,” is scheduled to launch at 10:58 a.m. EDT (7:58 p.m. Baikonur time) Wednesday, July 21, on a three-stage Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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