Roscosmos used backup thrusters to make the initial course correction, but issues with an antenna and Nauka’s docking target raised concerns about how those problems might impact the docking attempt.


On July 26, the Russian Pirs module detached from the ISS to make room for the incoming module. Pirs, along with a Progress MS-16 transport cargo vehicle, burned up on re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere.

Nauka, which means “science” in Russian, will provide more room for research experiments, cargo, and equipment. The 43-foot long, 23-ton module features new crew quarters, new life support equipment, and even a new toilet. The module is also delivering the European Robotic Arm (ERA), which after installation will service the Russian segment of the orbital outpost. Also onboard is a new docking port and airlock for future spacewalks.