After nearly 15 years of delays and technical problems, the new Russian space laboratory NOCA is connected today International Space Station (ISS), as announced by the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
“The connection of the powerful Noka Laboratory with the ISS Svesta operating system has been confirmed,” the service said on Twitter.
“We have contact!” Dmitry Rokosin, director of Roscosmos, welcomed the first merger of a Russian space laboratory with the ISS after 11 years in his role.
The service clarified in its announcement that the systems were operating normally, based on telemetry data and reports from the ISS team. However, for the Nauka station to be fully operational, “currents” will take place over many months and many places.
The Proton-M rocket, launched on July 21 from the Russian Pykonor Cosmotrome in Kazakhstan, was used by the scientific laboratory ISS. The move was eagerly monitored by the European Space Agency because Noka, among other things, is carrying its own equipment, the ERA robotic arm, which will be placed on its exterior.
Nauka (meaning “science” in Russian) is basically a laboratory boat, but can also be used to store cargo, but also to produce water and oxygen. It weighs 20 tons and has a capacity of 70 cubic meters. Its assembly began in the 1990s, but its release, originally scheduled for 2007, has been delayed several times. Like other Russian space programs, it faced technical, bureaucratic and financial problems.
Nuka has replaced the birch that was separated from the ISS on Monday and burned when it entered Earth’s atmosphere in the Pacific Ocean. Pris was tied to the ISS in 2011 and was only used for five years, but delays with Noucao forced Roscosmos to extend its lifespan.