The new big Russian module for ISS, dubbed Nauka and successfully launched yesterday, appears to have a serious engine issue, according to these twitter reports by Anthony Zak of RussianSpaceWeb.com.
From his two tweets:
UPDATE: #Nauka’s main engines (pictured in operation) are currently out of commission. Specialists are troubleshooting the issue and developing a backup rendezvous plan. The module has ~30 stable orbits at current altitude.
…one more thing: at this point, there is no information that Nauka’s tank membranes have leaks in orbit. Those rumors in the Russian press might be a garbled echo of my reporting here ;)->
Nauka’s launch came about fourteen years behind scheduled, delayed by many engineering and quality control problems. Its construction began more than a quarter century ago. If Nauka fails to dock with ISS the Russians will face a disaster to their space program that almost cannot be measured. It will certainly make the Chinese much more reluctant to depend on Russia in their supposed partnership to build a base on the Moon or to work together on China’s space station. It should also make the U.S. far more reluctant to depend on Russia in its Artemis program.
Worse, it is questionable the Russians can get anything built in any reasonable time to replace Nauka. How can anyone expect them to build anything in a reasonable time for either of the U.S. or Chinese interplanetary projects?
I must unfortunately ask you for your financial support because I do not depend on ads and rely entirely on the generosity of readers to keep Behind the Black running. You can either make a one time donation for whatever amount you wish, or you sign up for a monthly subscription ranging from $2 to $15 through Paypal or $3 to $50 through Patreon.
Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
Your support is even more essential to me because I not only keep this site free from advertisements, I do not use the corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to promote my work. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.
You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:
If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
Cortaro, AZ 85652
Or you can donate by using Zelle through your bank. You will need to give my name and email address (found at the bottom of the "About" page). The best part of this electronic option is that no fees will be deducted! What you donate will be what I receive.