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Russia launches rocket carrying new lab to International Space Station

Russia launches rocket carrying new lab to International Space Station

dpa
Moscow
Russia sent its Nauka research module off to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Proton-M launch vehicle on Wednesday, more than a decade after it was first supposed to fly.
The launch, shown live by the Russian space agency Roskosmos, lifted off from the Russian Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan under a cloudless sky. Roskosmos tweeted that everything had gone smoothly.
The flight to the manned outpost 400 kilometres above Earth is expected to take eight days.
It had long been unclear whether the 13-metre-long laboratory weighing more than 20 tons would ever be used; launch dates had been cancelled multiple times due to problems or a lack of money.
As a multi-purpose module, Nauka is primarily intended for research and will dock with the Russian part of the station, the space agency Roscosmos announced, adding it will also serve as crew quarters with its own life support system. It also carries the European Robotic Arm (ERA) designed by the European Space Agency, and large solar panels.
After docking with the ISS, several field missions by Russian cosmonauts are expected for its completion.

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