2009-11-10

New Docking Port Heads To ISS

A new Russian docking port is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) today, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome atop a Soyuz rocket. The Mini-Research Module 2, or MRM-2, is better known as 'Poisk', Russian for 'Explore', and will provide additional storage, an airlock, and a docking port for Progress and Soyuz craft.


Poisk is prepared for launch

Due to dock at the space station Thursday at about 10:43am EST, Poisk is the first new Russian addition to the station since the Pirs docking compartment in 2001. The module's 380 cubic feet of living space was loaded up before launch with Russian Orlan spacesuits and life support equipment, so it will be a mini-delivery for the station too.

The addition of a fourth docking port is essential for the continued presence of a six-person crew at the station, as the current three ports are occupied with two Soyuz crew spacecraft and a Progress craft which will be loaded with trash and released to burn up in reentry. Traffic control will be made a lot easier with the additional port.

Keep an eye on NASA TV on Thursday for live coverage of the docking.

Happy Spacing Spacers!

SpaceHead
Image courtesy of RSC Energia
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5 comments:

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Jeff said...
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Jeff said...
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Jeff said...

ISS Time-Line (flash)

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