Cosmonauts open spacewalk to prepare for Nauka’s arrival and installation

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Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov performed a spacewalk on the Russian facet of the International Condo Web site to prepare the outpost for the arrival of a brand novel Russian research module named Nauka, a lengthy-awaited science laboratory.

The spacewalk began at 15: 12 UTC (10: 12 EST) on Wednesday, 18 November when the cosmonauts left the ISS throughout the Poisk module and concluded 6 hours 47 minutes later at 21: 59 UTC (16: 59 EST).  This used to be the principle spacewalk from that module and extinct a brand novel airlock.

This day’s EVA (Additional Vehicular Assignment — or spacewalk) used to be the 232nd in give a boost to of construction and repairs of the Web site, the 8th on the outpost this 365 days, the principle from the Poisk module’s airlock, and the principle for every and every Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov.

It used to be also the principle in a sequence of projects that will prepare for Pirs decommissioning, undocking, and disposal while also attempting to interchange a fluid lag regulator on the Zarya module, retrieving hardware that measures home debris impacts, and repositioning an instrument extinct to measure the residue from thruster firings which can perchance well perchance be extinct to interchange the orientation of the ISS.

At some level of the spacewalk, the cosmonauts first checked for leaks on the hatch; this used to be carried out by first opening and inspecting the seals on the novel airlock after depressurization.  The crew then closed the hatch and performed a partial repressurization of the module to create definite a fair appropriate functionality.

After that, they depressurized again and exited the Poisk module, origin the route of of decommissioning the Pirs docking compartment.  Work outdoor included the attempted replacement of a lag withhold a watch on regulator panel on the Purposeful Cargo Block (FGB) module, Zarya, re-routing cables, and striking off an experiment.

The cosmonauts had been unable to originate the replacement of the lag withhold a watch on regulator when a poke would not release on the novel regulator’s switch container.

The novel unit used to be positioned relief in the Poisk module’s airlock, and the cosmonauts proceeded to the assorted projects.  On the pause of the spacewalk, the window cleansing exercise used to be deferred to a subsequent spacewalk.

Scrutinize the sequence of the occasions scheduled for this spacewalk had been described in the below video from NASA:

Pirs and Poisk would be found between the Zvezda and Zarya modules on the Russian facet of the International Condo Web site.  Within the LVLH (Native Vertical Native Horizontal) perspective, where the ISS pitches at four-degrees-per-minute to withhold its belly pointed towards the Earth, the Poisk docking compartment faces home while Pirs faces Earth.

Commander Ryzhikov used to be designated as Extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1) and wore a Russian Orlan spacesuit with crimson stripes.  Flight Engineer Kud-Sverchkov wore an Orlan suit with blue stripes, serving as Extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2). 

The EVA used to be anticipated to final for five hours and 33 minutes however carried out after 6 hours 47 minutes.  NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins assisted the cosmonauts with suit-up and monitored their progress from all the strategy thru the Web site.

The Pirs docking compartment is being removed to create a arena for the Nauka laboratory module, which is willing to be primarily the most contemporary habitable home for the International Condo Web site.

It arrived on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 19 August 2020 for closing preparations sooner than initiating, which has been delayed for over 13 years.  Presently scheduled to begin on a Proton-M rocket No Earlier Than 20 April 2021, this can mark the resumption of Web site expansion. 

If on discover, the present Growth MS-15 mission — rather then undocking Growth from Pirs — will remain linked to Pirs.  The connections between Pirs and Zvezda will likely be removed, and Growth will ease the docking compartment some distance from the ISS.

Just a few days later, Growth MS-15 will deorbit with Pirs for a harmful re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, turning into the principle module of the ISS to be completely removed and destructively disposed of.  Today, no plans exist to employ any of the assorted favorite modules from the ISS on both the Russian or U.S. (which contains Canada, Japan, and ESA) facet of the outpost.

The configuration of the modules on the Russian section of the International Condo Web site. (Credit: NASA/WikiCommons)

Manufactured by RKK Energia, the docking compartment is a lot like the Mir Docking Module extinct on the Mir home plot.  Pirs module used to be launched on 14 September 2001 on a Russian Soyuz-U rocket utilizing a modified Growth spacecraft, Growth DC-1, as an greater stage and docked to the Web site two days later.

Pirs has two well-known capabilities: to aid as a docking port for visiting Soyuz and Growth spacecraft and relief as an airlock for Russian EVAs.

Pirs might perchance well perchance additionally additionally switch gas from the tanks of a docked Growth resupply automobile to both the Zvezda Carrier Module Integrated Propulsion System or the Zarya Purposeful Cargo Block.

Nauka history:

Nauka used to be first constructed as the backup to the currently-on-orbit Zarya module.  As such, each and every are of a identical variety called the Purposeful Cargo Block (FGB). 

The FGB variety traces its roots to the Soviet TKS spacecraft that used to be designed in the 1960s to aid as a crew and cargo resupply automobile for the Soviet Union’s Salyut home stations.  It consisted of two substances: the VA spacecraft and Purposeful Cargo Block, each and every of which can perchance well perchance also function independently. 

The VA spacecraft itself used to be before all the things designed as a lunar crew automobile, a lot like the Apollo Whisper Module.  It might perchance perchance perchance well perchance fetch carried up to three crew individuals all the strategy thru initiating and landing and used to be considerable in that it used to be supposed to be reused — even supposing this used to be handiest demonstrated as soon as.

After being rejected for the Soviet lunar program, the VA used to be repurposed to become allotment of the TKS spacecraft.

Extravehicular exercise — first time from Poisk module 👨‍🚀

Sergey @KudSverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov are going to originate a spacewalk to prepare the docking compartment for Nauka module arrival and to mount the equipment on the outdoor surface of the ISS ➡️

— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) November 17, 2020

The FGB below this variety served as a carrier and storage module.  It featured a astronomical pressurized quantity in its heart, intended for cargo storage and docking equipment.  On the outdoor of the FGB had been gas tanks, maneuvering engines, solar arrays, and a docking port.  The TKS flew four instances and docked to Salyut stations three instances.  None of these missions had been crewed.

Following the cancellation of TKS, the Soviet home program soon realized various potentialities the FGB variety might perchance well perchance offer.  In 1987, the Kvant-1 module used to be launched to the Mir home plot.  As a replace of having its possess withhold a watch on machine, it used to be dropped on the plot by a Purposeful Carrier Module — derived from the FGB.

A lot of various Mir modules had been themselves derived from the FGB, including Kvant-2, Kristall, Spektr, and Priroda. Repurposing the FGB variety for several of Mir’s modules saved each and every time and money.

In 1998, the following FGB-derived module – Zarya – launched on a Proton rocket.  Zarya used to be the principle module of the International Condo Web site and supplied power, withhold a watch on, and propulsion for the early outpost.  It used to be built by Russia below a contract from NASA.  In case of a initiating failure, a backup to Zarya used to be built from spare substances.  Named FGB-2, its construction used to be halted at spherical 70% completion.

After the a success initiating of Zarya, FGB-2 used to be positioned in storage, and various different plans had been proposed for incorporating the module into the ISS, including making it a docking hub, laboratory, or perchance a single-exhaust resupply automobile. 

Roscosmos then well-liked a proposal to convert FGB-2 into the Multipurpose Laboratory Module, or MLM.  At this level, the module used to be anticipated to begin in 2007.  As its title suggests, the MLM will likely be a multipurpose — even supposing primarily scientific — module.  This could perchance well perchance function crew quarters, research stations, propulsion, solar arrays, a European robotic arm, and an experiment airlock, amongst others.

The Nauka module, in preparation for initiating in 2021. (Credit: RKK Energia)

Nonetheless, not all of these will likely be dropped at orbit with the MLM.  The Rassvet Mini Evaluate Module used to be launched to the ISS in 2010 onboard the Condo Shuttle Atlantis and introduced several of the MLM’s substances to the Web site.  Rassvet launched with the MLM’s radiator, experiment airlock, and a spare joint for the European Robotic Arm, all of which is willing to be installed onto the MLM after it arrives.

The MLM will also function propulsion methods ample to rendezvous and dock autonomously with the ISS.  The onboard gas tanks will likely be extinct for propellant storage as soon as linked to Web site.  The MLM’s solar arrays will also aid lower the Russian section’s reliance on the main put of solar arrays which can perchance well perchance be technically allotment of the U.S. section. 

The novel module will include water and air purification methods, a brand novel galley, and a lavatory.  Its thrusters might perchance well perchance additionally additionally be extinct as a backup to withhold a watch on the ISS must silent these on Zvezda fail.

The MLM’s title, Nauka, is a Russian observe for “science.”

After its arrival and becoming-out, Nauka will become the principle laboratory module on the Russian section.  Presently, Russia has two miniature laboratory modules – Rassvet and Poisk, each and every of which is willing to be dwarfed by Nauka.

(Lead image: NASA)

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