There is change within the International Space Station (ISS).
The Progress MS-16 spacecraft undocked this Monday at around 1 p.m. (French time), taking with it the Pirs module which unhooked from the station.
This mooring port, which was used for extra-vehicular outings by astronauts, then disintegrated in the atmosphere, reports
Sciences et Avenir
This module was originally supposed to hang on the ISS for five years, but has spent more than twenty years on its side.
His dropout is a first.
😢 #Pirs #ISS # Пирс pic.twitter.com/B6UjoVK70M
- Whitney 🚀 (@SpaceExplorerW) July 26, 2021
A new multifunction module
Pirs thus leaves a vacant place on the ISS which will soon be filled by a new Russian module, called Nauka, ("science" in Russian).
It should arrive safely on July 29th.
The construction of this space laboratory was decided in the early 2000s and its launch was to take place in 2007, but many technical problems delayed the project.
Its final installation will require several extra-vehicular outings.
With a volume of 70 m3, this module will allow up to 21 simultaneous laboratory experiments to be carried out.
It also offers several additional beds for the astronauts, who will have a kitchen and toilets.
An articulated and robotic arm
Nauka will also be able to serve as a rescue vessel, a mooring port for Russian vessels and will offer an additional exit airlock.
The laboratory is equipped with an air and water regeneration system, engines, navigation and attitude control systems.
In addition, Nauka will bring an ultimate novelty: a robotic arm called ERA (European Robotic Arm).
The latter, attached to the side of the module, is approximately 11 m long.
With its seven joints, it will be able to move on the surface of the ISS, handle loads of up to 8 tons with an accuracy of 5 mm.
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