Pirs, a Russian module on the International Space Station (ISS) used as a docking port for spacecraft and as a door for cosmonauts to go out on spacewalks, was detached from the 22-year-old floating laboratory.
In its place, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos will be attaching a significantly larger module called Nauka.
- Nauka — meaning “science” in Russian is the biggest space laboratory Russia has launched to date.
- Nauka, which was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 21 using a Proton rocket is scheduled to be integrated with the ISS.
- Nauka is 42 feet long and weighs 20 tonnes.
- It will serve as the country’s main research facility on the space station.
- It is also bringing to the ISS another oxygen generator, a spare bed, another toilet, and a robotic cargo crane built by the European Space Agency (ESA).
- It is a collaborative effort between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe) and CSA (Canada).
- The new module was sent into orbit using a Proton rocket.