Russian Prichal Node Module Docks at International Space Station

Russian Prichal Node Module Docks at International Space Station
Russia’s new Prichal docking node module arrives at the International Space Station on Nov. 26, 2021 providing additional docking ports and fuel transfer capabilities to the Russian segment. Credit: Roscosmos

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – Russia’s new Prichal multiport docking node module successfully docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on Nov. 26, 2021 propelled by a modified Russian Progress cargo spacecraft – marking the final Russian module contribution to the orbiting research outpost.  See hi-res Roscosmos video/photos below

Prichal,  which means pier in Russian, will serve a key role as a vastly expanded docking hub for future Russian segment visiting Soyuz crewed and Progress cargo vehicles – and perhaps other spaceships as well.

The five-ton spherical shaped Prichal docking module from Roscosmos arrived and automatically docked at the station at 10:19 a.m. EST (1519 GMT)  Nov. 26 mounted atop the modified Progress MUM ship two days after lifting off on a Russian Soyuz-2.1b rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 8:06 a.m. EST (1306 GMT, 6:06 p.m. Baikonur time).

A Russian Progress spacecraft launched from Kazakhstan at 8:06 a.m. EST (6:06 p.m. Baikonur time) Nov. 24, 2021 carrying the Prichal docking module into Earth orbit. Credit: Roscosmos

The pair docked to Russia’s new Nauka module on the Earth-facing side of the Russian segment as the spacecraft were flying about 260 miles over Ukraine at the time of docking.

Russia’s new Prichal docking node module arrives at the International Space Station on Nov. 26, 2021 providing additional docking ports and fuel transfer capabilities to the Russian segment. Docked behind a Soyuz. Credit: Roscosmos

Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov were on duty Friday monitoring Prichal’s arrival.

Watch this hi-res timelapse docking and hatch opening video from Shkaplerov – in Russian and English versions:

Prichal is outfitted with a total of six docking ports including five available docking ports to accommodate multiple Russian spacecraft simultaneously and provide fuel transfer capability to the Nauka module – in addition to the port used to dock to Nauka.

Russia’s new Prichal docking node module attached to Progress MUM spacecraft undergoes prelaunch processing. Credit: Roscosmos

 

The Prichal Node Module was developed and built by RSC Energia (part of Roscosmos).

 

According to Roscosmos, Prichal also served as a cargo carrier and delivered to the ISS about 700 kilograms of various cargoes, including resource equipment and consumables, water purification, medical and sanitary means, as well as standard food rations for the Expedition 66 crew.

Russia plans the first spacewalk for Prichal on January 19, 2022 during which cosmonauts  Shkaplerov and Dubrov will connect Prichal to the station.

Then on March 18 the first crewed spacecraft will dock to it – namely Soyuz MS-21.

Russia’s new Prichal docking node module arrives at the International Space Station on Nov. 26, 2021 providing additional docking ports and fuel transfer capabilities to the Russian segment. Credit: Roscosmos

Roscosmos originally built Prichal with the ambitious intent to add multiple additional science and power modules to the Russian station segment – but those plans were formally abandoned earlier this year partly as a result of continuing budget constraints hindering Russia’s space program.

Named for the Russian word for “science,” Nauka launched to the space station in July.

Thus Russia’s Prichal and Nauka modules both arrived this year and are the last Russian modules envisioned for ISS.

Check out additional hi-res photos from Shkaplerov:

Watch this Roscosmos video of the Prichal/Progress docking to ISS

To make way for Prichal another Russian Progress ship departed the station.

The uncrewed Russian Progress 78 cargo craft undocked from Nauka at 6:23 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 25, and burned up upon reentry in the Earth’s atmosphere later that morning.

Seven humans are currently serving aboard the station as members of Expedition 66 – including two Russian Roscosmos cosmonauts and five more NASA and ESA astronauts resident aboard from the U.S. and Germany.

Expedition 66 crew members from left: Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos; Thomas Marshburn of NASA; Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos; Raja Chari, Mark Vande Hei and Kayla Barron, all from NASA; and Matthias Maurer from ESA (European Space Agency). Credit: NASA

The Crew-3 quartet from the US and Germany arrived at the ISS most recently on Nov. 11 after launching aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Wednesday evening, Nov. 10.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Crew Dragon Endurance streaks to orbit on NASA ESA Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station after liftoff at 9:03 p.m. from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 10, 2021 – in this long duration exposure single image taken with fisheye lens. Multinational crew aboard Crew Dragon are SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts Raja Chari, commander; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist; along with Matthias Maurer, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and mission specialist. Falcon 9 darted in and out of thick clouds before disappearing quickly behind them. Bracketed by VAB (l) & Countdown Clock + water reflecting US/Crew3 flags flagpole (r). Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Crew-3 is comprised of NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer.

Liftoff of multinational German and American astronauts flying on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission had been delayed by minor medical issues and poor offshore weather to Nov. 10, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The quartet participated in a media event after arriving at KSC on Oct. 26, 2021. From left is ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and Mission Specialist Matthias Maurer of Germany, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, pilot, Spacecraft Commander Raja Chari and Kayla Barron, mission specialist. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The remaining 3 crewmembers include NASA Astronaut Mark Vande Hei as well as Russian cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov, commander of the ISS Expedition 66 crew.

A Russian Progress spacecraft launched from Kazakhstan at 8:06 a.m. EST (6:06 p.m. Baikonur time) Nov. 24, 2021 carrying the Prichal docking module into Earth orbit. Credit: Roscosmos

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about the International Space Station, SpaceX Crew and Cargo Dragons, Artemis, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, Lucy Asteroid mission, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, SpaceX  Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2 & 3, ISS, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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Structural diagram of the Prichal module and attached Progress vehicle. Credit: Roscosmos

 

Russia’s new Prichal docking node module arrives at the International Space Station on Nov. 26, 2021 providing additional docking ports and fuel transfer capabilities to the Russian segment. Credit: NASA

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Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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