In news- Russia’s new ‘Nauka’ laboratory module meant for the International Space Station(ISS) blasted off recently aboard the Proton rocket.
- Nauka is a 42-feet-long module weighing 20 tonnes.
- It was set to launch in 2007 but was reportedly delayed due to technical issues.
- ‘Nauka’ in Russian means Science.
- It is Russia’s most ambitious research facility in space and is fitted with an oxygen generator, robotic cargo crane, a toilet and a bed for Russian astronauts.
- The Russian module will initially be used as a docking facility and for conducting experiments as the crew works in it.
- The multipurpose laboratory’s active docking port and airlock which will be handled by the European Robotic Arm.
- It will also provide astronauts with additional cargo storage space including oxygen regeneration equipment.
- The high-tech research lab is attached to the Zvezda module and the lab will serve the Russian segment of the space station.
- It replaced the Pirs module after the latter got detached from the ISS.
About Pirs module-
- Pirs, a Russian module on the ISS was launched in 2001.
- It was used as a docking port for spacecraft and as a door for cosmonauts to go out on spacewalks.
- It is the biggest space laboratory Russia has launched to date.
- It was pulled away from the ISS using a Progress MS-16/77P cargo ship, which had remained docked to the module since February.
It is the first permanent ISS module to be decommissioned, and burned up and disintegrated during atmospheric re-entry over the Southern Pacific.