According to media reports, the Science module ran into technical problems. They can significantly complicate docking with the International Space Station.
Roscosmos' main hope is the recently launched Science module, which will probably not be able to dock regularly with the ISS. According to sources in the space department, the sensor did not show the extension of the antenna rod of the "Course" system, which is used for rendezvous and docking of the vehicle. It is not known if the problem lies with the boom or the transducer itself.
It is also not clear if the problem could seriously interfere with docking with the ISS. There is a fallback option for performing the operation manually, but much depends on the state of the module. The large dimensions of Nauka impose additional difficulties.
According to the information presented on the NASASpaceFlight forum, there are difficulties with the IKV horizon sensors and the motion control system (docking and stabilization engines).
In addition, it became known about the transfer of work with the "Pirs" module, in the place of which they want to dock "Science". “So guys, more global changes today. All work related to JI (docking compartment "Pirs". - Ed. Note) was canceled, they have been postponed until tomorrow, "said the Center's specialist to cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Peter Dubrov, who are on board the station.
What is the reason for the postponement of the preparatory work and whether it will affect the date of undocking of the "Pirs" is not specified.
The Nauka module was launched using the Proton-M launch vehicle on July 21st. The launch was carried out from the launcher No. 39 of the site No. 200 of the Baikonur cosmodrome.
The approach to the station should be done with the help of the module's engines. They intend to bring "Nauka" into the docking zone in eight days. The docking is scheduled for July 29: whether these dates are relevant now is not reported.
The multifunctional laboratory module "Science" is significant in every sense. This is one of the main Russian "long-term construction": the creation of the complex began in 1995, and after the definition of the first terms of launch (2007), they were repeatedly postponed.
As one of the station's largest modules, Nauka is also important in terms of Russia's prestige on the world stage.
The country's future in the ISS program has not yet been determined, but if nothing fundamentally changes, Russia will begin to exit it around the mid-2020s. The creation of a national OS is considered as an alternative to an international station. You can read about whether this is possible and how justified such an initiative is in our material.
UPD: Dmitry Rogozin said that the docking system of the Nauka module had been routinely tested. Its docking with the ISS is scheduled for July 29.