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New Russian module launched to International Space Station

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New Russian module launched to International Space Station

A Russian rocket blasted off efficiently on Wednesday to ship a brand new docking module to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz rocket lifted off as scheduled at 6:06 pm (18:36 IST) from the Russian launch facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, carrying the Progress cargo ship with the Prichal (Pier) docking module connected to it.

The craft is about to dock on the station on Friday, hooking up to the new Russian Nauka (Science) laboratory module that was added to the station in July.

The new spherical module with six docking ports will enable potential future growth of the Russian phase of the station.

Earlier this week, Russian crew on the station began coaching for Prichal’s arrival, simulating using guide controls in case the automated docking system fails.

The house outpost is currently operated by NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and Mark Vande Hei; Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov; and Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency.

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