State Space Corporation ROSCOSMOS announced today that the specialists of RSC Energia (part of ROSCOSMOS) together with the European Space Agency have completed the final installation of the European Robotic Arm (ERA) on the body of the new "Nauka" (Science) module.
The Russian Space agnecy assured that work on programme of factory control tests of the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) "Nauka" of the Russian segment of the International Space Station is in progress.
Dimitry Rogozin, Directer General of ROSCOSMOS, said on his Telegram channel that the launch of MLM "Nauka" is scheduled for July.
The European Robotic Arm (ERA), designed by Fokker Space, is a robotic arm planned to be attached to the Russian Segment of the International Space Station during 2021. As the main Robotic arm of the Russian segment of the International Space Station, it will provide installation and removal of target loads on the surface of the station and monitoring of the state of the external surface of the station, as well as remotely controlled movement of astronauts in a portable workplace during spacewalks.
In accordance with the schedule of work during the installation of the ERA on the locking units, high-precision control of the position of the manipulator in the folded configuration and comprehensive tests of the fixing tools on the module housing were carried out.
Further work on the technical complex will be carried out by specialists of RSC Energia and the Yuzhny Space Center (branch of the Center for Operation of Ground Space Infrastructure Objects, part of ROSCOSMOS) as part of the regular preparation for launch. During this period, it is planned to install solar panels, place the delivered goods and weigh the module, assemble the space head, refuel the module tanks with fuel components and the overall assembly of the Proton-M space rocket.
The "Nauka" (Russian for 'science') multipurpose laboratory module, developed by RSC Energia in cooperation with the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, is a component of the International Space Station (ISS) that is expected to expand the functionality of the Russian segment of the ISS.
The launch of Nauka, initially planned for 2007, has been repeatedly delayed for various reasons. In May 2020, Nauka was reported to be planned for launch in the second quarter of 2021, after which the warranties of some of Nauka's systems will expire.