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  24 Nov 2021, 19:47

Russia launches new docking module to ISS

     MOSCOW, Nov 24, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying the new 
Prichal docking module for the International Space Station blasted off from 
the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, the Roscosmos space 
agency said. 

   A live feed from Roscosmos showed the carrier rocket taking off against a 
dark evening sky from the Russia-leased spaceport at the scheduled time of 
1306 GMT.

   Prichal -- which means "pier" in Russian -- is the second permanent 
addition to the Russian segment of the ISS this year, after the lond-awaited 
arrival of the Nauka lab module.

   The module's journey to the ISS will take two days and is scheduled for 
automated docking at the nadir (Earth-facing) port of the Nauka module on 
Friday November 26, Roscosmos said. 

  According to Roscosmos, the five-tonne docking module can accomodate up to 
five spacecraft and will also deliver various cargo to the ISS, including 
food rations, repair tool and hygiene supplies.

   The docking of Nauka in July had complications after its thrusters 
unexpectedly fired, causing the stations to briefly tilt out of orbit.

   Last week, Russia faced an international backlash after Moscow destroyed a 
satellite creating a cloud of space debris that forced the ISS crew to take 
shelter. 

   The ISS is due for retirement after 2024, although NASA has said it could 
remain functional until at least 2028. 

   Russia has said it intends to create its own orbital station. 

   Launched in 1998 and involving Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan, 
and the European Space Agency, the ISS is one of the largest international 
collaborations in science and engineering.

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