ISS-66 mission


ISS crew:

Commander -
Tomas Pesquet

Flight engineers:
Petr Dubrov
Mark Vande Hei
Robert Shane Kimbrough
Megan McArthur
Akihiko Hoshide
Anton Shkaplerov



Nauka module Ascent Unit assembly

June 28, 2021

At the processing facility of Area 254 of the Baikonur cosmodrome, the Multi-purpose Laboratory Module (MLM) Nauka continues to go through the final phase of its pre-launch processing. Specialists from RSC Energia and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, as well as from other core companies of Roscosmos, completed the sequence of operations to assemble and test the MLM Nauka, payload fairing and adapter section within the Ascent Unit (AU).

The phase of assembly and testing of the AU with the MLM Nauka is performed after completion of work to check the weight and determine the center of mass of the module. It involves installation and mating of the halves of the payload fairing (PLF) to the adapter section and the MLM, mating of electrical connectors, installation of pneumatic pushers, sensors and other PLF jettisoning equipment, sealing of joints, and electrical check tests on the AU using ground-based measuring equipment. The payload fairing within the AU is designed to protect the module against the impact of the aerodynamic flow and aerodynamic heating during powered ascent, as well as to protect it against exposure to the elements during transportation and on the launch pad.

In accordance with the standard processing flow, upon completion of the AU activities, the MLM Nauka integrated into the AU will be installed on the transporter and sent to the filling station of Area 31 to be filled there with propellant components and compressed gases.

The Multipurpose Laboratory Module Nauka is a research module for the Russian Segment of the International Space Station developed by S.P.Korolev RSC Energia jointly with the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center in order to expand the functionality of the Russian Segment of the ISS.