Multi-purpose laboratory module “Science” will be shipped to Baikonur on the night of 6 to 7 August, told journalists the Deputy Director of the Center Khrunichev novel Ukrainians. The module will be delivered to the launch site by rail. Earlier it was reported that Roskosmos plans to launch a module to the International space station in April 2021.
Laboratory module “Science” was started in 1995 as a backup for the FGB module of the International space station. After the FGB was launched successfully and began working at the station, it was decided to use a doubler as an additional module for then segment of the ISS. Initially it was planned to start in 2011, however, during inspections in fuel tanks and pipelines were found metal shavings. Therefore, the launch date many times postponed.
As part of the ISS module will be used to conduct scientific research and experiments, maintaining the orientation of the station, docking manned and cargo space vehicles, and transit fuel.
In the module “Science” set the equipment for production of oxygen for six people and for regeneration of water from urine. The module also include a European Robotic Arm manipulator with a length of 11.3 meters and weighing 600 pounds. It will be used, including, for servicing of then segment of the ISS without having access to space.
As the head of the Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, the module will provide jobs for experiments involving three astronauts. Docking module according to Roman Khokhlov, will be carried out in automatic mode, but will require crew egress into open space.
In mid-July, 2020, the multipurpose laboratory module was successfully tested in a vacuum chamber. The specialists of the Khrunichev Center has checked the development of control systems, the integrity of the module housing with air lock compartment and fuel system. “Assembly and testing at Baikonur will take another nine months, if not critical issues, the launch will be in April,” said Roman Khokhlov. The approximate lifetime of the module, according to Dmitry Rogozin, will be 15 years.
As expected, after arriving at the Baikonur laboratory module will be a series of pre-launch testing. They will hold the Corporation “Energy”.