Russia’s Nauka Multipurpose Logistics Module (MLM) was sweeping headlines when it unexpectedly fired up its thrusters just hours after docking. The glitch caused the International Space Station to go off course for a while before it was brought under control.
Now astronaut Pesquet has given space enthusiasts a tour of the new module for the first time. Nauka will serve as a science facility, docking port, and spacewalk airlock. It will mainly be working for cosmonauts on the Russian part of the ISS.
Nauka is ready to get to work
The new module has replaced the Pirs module that was aboard the space laboratory for almost two decades. Pesquet, who’s been onboard the ISS since April 2021, shows several sections of the new module in the video.
Pesquet points out the location of Nauka’s toilet. “It will be our third toilet,” he says, adding, “It might sound random, but this is something you have to think about when you’re in space, and with longer [missions] and bigger crews onboard the space station, we have to come up with solutions, and this is part of it.”
The astronaut also shows several science instruments on the module that will come in handy for experiments, adding the new module will have the control panel for operating the European Robotic Arm (ERA) placed outside the space outpost.
Is Nauka fiasco over yet?
Nauka also features a cabin for astronauts, packing “all modern conveniences,” Pesquet says, though he didn’t show the inside as it was filled with equipment. The video also shows the module’s docking ring for incoming spacecraft alongside a small hatch for sending science experiments outside of the space station and a “rather big” window for views of our planet.
The Nauka docking incident that threw the ISS off course is still making waves on Earth. After a state-owned Russian news agency accused NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor of mentally breaking down aboard the ISS and causing damage to the Russian space module, NASA has come in defense of the astronaut. The baseless accusations were made without any evidence and could be a move to divert the attention from the actual glitch.