On Friday, a Russian cargo ship docked on a different side of the International Space Station (ISS). After an almost 29 hours flight mission, the ship connected to the new Nauka lab module.
The Progress 78 cargo ship arrived on Russia’s Poisk module on Wednesday. However, it relocated to the new lab module the next day. According to NASA, the Russian cargo ship had to stay in a “station-keeping” mode before docking the Nauka module, a risky mission.
The mission of the spacecraft is to help check the new lab module. Nauka needs to be used as orientation control; however, they need to make sure the thrusters work properly before using them.
After a few hours after docking, the new lab thrusters went off. However, after one-and-a-half rotations, the module regained control. This is due to a glitch in the system, but the Russian cargo ship will perform leak checks over the next few weeks.
The supply ship marks the first freighter of this type to dock the latest lab module. Not to say that waiting for more than 28 hours in space before docking is quite impressive.
Nauka is the latest addition to the space station. It arrived at the ISS on July 29th, 2021. However, the supply ship arrived at the space station at the beginning of July, not long before the new lab addition.
It is time for a new supply ship to launch on the ISS. Therefore, the Russian team made room for the Progress 79 spacecraft in advance. The new freighter will launch on Wednesday, October 27th, 2021. Same as the previous spacecraft, we expect a two-day space flight until docking the space station.
According to NASA, the new cargo will supply the space crew with a lot of food, fuel, and other stocks. The expected docking day is October 29th, so keep your eyes open as NASA plans to broadcast the event.