The Russian module Naukah arrived at the ISS International Space Station. This module is also attached to the European robotic arm ERA, which was largely paid and built by the Netherlands.
Naukah contacted the coupling port at the Russian part of the ISS just before 3.29 p.m., eight days after its launch:
After its launch last week, the module was struggling with faltering engines. They had to bring Naukah to a higher orbit, and there were also concerns about the automatic clutch system. The Russian space organization Roskosmos managed to resolve the complications in a timely manner so that the clutch could take place as planned today.
Naukah is a new scientific module for the Russian part of the space station. The module was due to go to ISS in 2007 but its launch was delayed for 14 years due to technical and budgetary problems.
“It was exciting”
result, the robotic arm, which had been working in the Netherlands since 1986 and which cost 370 million euros, had to wait a long time for transport to the ISS.
ESA manager Philippe Schoonejans, involved in ERA from the start, says he is extremely relieved that the arm has now arrived at the ISS. “It was exciting. It took multiple workarounds to make a good link possible, and the Russians did a great job.”
The robotic arm will not be activated until the end of September. One of ERAs first tasks is to connect a radiator and scientific airlock to Naukah. The arm will then be used for other work, such as moving experiments in and out of the airlock and as an aid for space walks on the Russian part of the ISS.