Russia again delays launch of Nauka module for ISS


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Russia yesterday announced that it will once again delay the launch of its Nauka module for ISS due to “additional adjustments that should be carried out due to the use of original propellant tanks.”

The TASS article did not explain what those adjustments will be, though it did outline some of the sad history of Nauka, which Russia had begun construction in 1995, a quarter of a century ago.

Earlier, Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozi said the research module’s original propellant tanks, manufactured about 18 years ago, could be replaced with those from the Fregat booster. However, later it was decided to send the module to the ISS with its original tanks.

The construction of the Nauka module began in 1995. Russia initially planned to launch the Nauka lab to the ISS as a back-up of the Zarya compartment (the station’s first module that continues its flight as part of the orbital outpost) but the launch was numerously delayed. In 2013, the Nauka module was sent to the Khrunichev Space Center after metal chips were found in its fuel system.

Right now they are saying it will probably launch early in 2021, not late in 2020 as previously announced.

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6 comments

  • James Street

    25 years ago. Talk about ancient technology. That’s back when computer memory was measured in KB and about the time 2nd generation cell phones were starting to be built.

  • Jay

    Wow, I forgot about this module – FGB-2 – Nauka. It was to go up in 2013, but I did not know about the problems with the tanks. I wonder if the Russians will still replace the Pirs module with this?

  • Jay: Do a search on BtB for Nauka. Lots more info. The tanks are only the tip of the iceberg.

  • geoffc

    Any bets? Nauka or SLS first? A race to the death knell…

  • Jay

    Robert,
    That is a quite a list of problems. Considering the life of the ISS, they are better off donating this segment to a museum.

  • pzatchok

    This shall never fly.

    Sorry Russia but this thing is just going to go up.

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