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Prichal Module Docks with International Space Station

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
November 26, 2021
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Progress M-UM with Prichal node module approaches the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On Friday, November 26, 2021, at 18:19:39 Moscow time, the Progress M-UM cargo module cargo vehicle successfully docked to the Russian segment of the International Space Station. Progress delivered to the ISS the Prichal docking node, the second Russian module, which was added to the station in 2021.

Docking and docking operations to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module were carried out automatically under the supervision of specialists from the Mission Control Center TsNIIMash (part of the State Corporation Roscosmos) and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov. Upon completion of the joint tightness checks, the Russian crew members will open the transfer hatches and carry out the final operations to dismantle the docking mechanism, transfer the Progress power supply system to unified power supply, and mothball the cargo ship.

The Prichal nodal module is designed to increase the technical and operational capabilities of the Russian segment of the ISS. Further development of the Russian segment of the station is ensured by connecting to the nodal module of transport systems, including promising ones. The developer of the nodal module is the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (part of the Roscosmos State Corporation).

Progress M-UM with Prichal node module approaches the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov)

The Prichal nodal module is a spherical sealed compartment with components located inside and outside it, ensuring the performance of its tasks. It includes a body and a complex of on-board systems, including a control system for equipment, radio equipment, a system for ensuring a thermal regime, means for providing gas composition, means for controlling movement and navigation, transit lines for refueling, an active hybrid docking system, a passive hybrid docking system, means redocking.

Over the next few months, the Prichal nodal module will be de-mothballed, the spacecraft’s instrument-and-assembly compartment will be separated and the ISS crew will go into outer space by installing antennas and targets on the outer surface of the nodal module, which are necessary for the Soyuz MS transport spacecraft docking to it, and Progress MS. 

On January 19, 2022, the first spacewalk is planned, during which the cosmonauts will connect the Prichal to the station, and on March 18, according to the plan, the first manned spacecraft, Soyuz MS-21, will dock to it.

Prichal nodal module (Credit: RSC Energia/Roscosmos)

In addition, the module ship delivered about 700 kilograms of various cargoes to the ISS, including resource equipment and consumables, water treatment, medical control and sanitary and hygienic supplies, maintenance and repair facilities, and standard rations for the crew.

Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of the State Corporation Roscosmos, congratulated the Russian crew members of the International Space Station, employees of the Russian rocket and space industry and astronautics enthusiasts on the successful docking of the new Prichal node module to the Russian segment of the station.

“I would like to congratulate the staff of the Main Operational Control Group, our enterprises, on the successful docking. Today we can state the fact that the formation of the Russian segment of the International Space Station has been completed. This fact has become a part of the history of national cosmonautics, with which I, of course, heartily congratulate the enthusiasts of national and international cosmonautics, ” Rogozin said.

According to him, the Prichal nodal module, due to its design features, will allow working out technologies that will be used in the future at the Russian Orbital Service Station and will make it eternal due to the possibility of replacing individual modules.

Upon completion of the docking, the General Director of the State Corporation phoned and congratulated on the successful docking of the Russian cosmonauts on board the ISS – Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

“I sincerely congratulate you, thank you very much from the whole team, from the state commission,” Rogozin said.

4 responses to “Prichal Module Docks with International Space Station”

  1. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Yay! Trouble free!

  2. Ziv Bnd. says:

    It is hard to believe that the current plan is to d-orbit all of the ISS sometime after 2028/30. You make 90 lifts to get it all up there and when the first job is done, you burn it all up by de-orbiting it. It really seems like they should find a way to re-use as much of it as possible and that they should start planning for that re-use now. Axiom is going to be docking their Orbital Segment to the ISS next year (hopefully) and they are planning to continue to use that Segment in space after the ISS goes out of commission. It would make a lot of sense for the US Orbital Segment modules (from the US, the EU, Canada and Japan) of the ISS to be leased or sold to Axiom instead of wasting them.

    • P.K. Sink says:

      Have you mentioned that to Axiom?

      • Ziv Bnd. says:

        I am sure that Suffredini and Baine have been on it for some time. They have four scheduled flights with SpaceX to the ISS in the next couple years to get their module up to speed by 2028. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that they want at least one of the ISS modules when the ISS is officially retired. The Harmony section is the one the Axiom section will be joined to and it may be the best fit for Axiom to ‘acquire’ in 2028. The Canadian Mobile Servicing System would be a very nice addition to the Axiom station, as would the JEM (Japanese) and the ESA COF, but the politics would be more difficult to work around. Not sure what condition the main truss or the solar cells will be in by 2028…

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