A new Russian module will launch toward the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday morning (Nov. 24), and you can watch the action live.
A modified Progress cargo craft topped with the Prichal docking module is scheduled to lift off atop a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday at 8:06 a.m. EST (1306 GMT). You can watch it live here and on the Space.com homepage courtesy of NASA, or directly via the space agency. NASA’s live coverage will begin at 7:45 a.m. EST (1245 GMT).
The Progress will deliver Prichal to the ISS on Friday (Nov. 24). The new module will dock automatically with Russia’s Nauka multipurpose module Friday at 10:26 a.m. EST (1526 GMT), if all goes according to plan.
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Nauka is a relatively new addition as well, reaching the orbiting lab on July 29. Nauka’s arrival was full of unwanted drama; the module’s thrusters fired in an unplanned fashion after docking, causing the ISS to rotate about 540 degrees.
A similar incident occurred on Oct. 15, when the thrusters on Russia’s Soyuz MS-18 crew spacecraft continued firing after the conclusion of a planned pre-departure test. That event spun the station by about 57 degrees, according to Russian news reports.
The 4-ton, spherical Prichal, whose name is Russian for “pier,” will provide five additional docking ports to the Russian segment of the ISS, according to RussianSpaceWeb.com, which describes the module in great detail.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.