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astronautix.com Mir-Shuttle Docking Module


Manufacturer's Designation: 316GK SM. Class: Manned. Type: Space Station. Nation: Russia. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: NPOE.

A specialised SO docking module was originally designed for docking the Buran space shuttle with the Mir-2 space station. In the 1992 concept the module would be delivered by a Progress-M tug to Mir-2 and included a lateral EVA hatch and an axial APDS androgynous docking unit for use by Buran. By 1993 Buran and Mir-2 were cancelled and the SO was to be used to dock the US Space Shuttle with the International Space Station.

In May 1993 discussions regarding docking the US Shuttle with the Mir space station, NASA expressed concern about the clearances between the Shuttle and Mir's solar panels when using the docking port designed for Buran on the Kristall module. The Russians thought NASA overly cautious, but NPO Energia offered a solution - a modified version of the SO, to be delivered by the Shuttle. Without the SO, NASA insisted that Mir's Kristall module would have to be temporarily repositioned at the forward axial port of the base block for every docking with the shuttle. The simplified SO design approved on 1 November 1993 deleted the lateral airlock. Qualification was relatively straightforward since the basic structure of the Soyuz BO orbital module was used, and the APDS androgynous docking port installation had already been proven on Soyuz-TM16. The draft project was completed in December 1993. A mock-up was delivered to NASA in April 1994 and the flight article reached the Kennedy Space Center on 7 June 1995. The module also carried two solar arrays - one Russian and one jointly developed by the US and Russia to augment Mir's power. The MCSA (Mir Co-operative Solar Array) was a 42 sq. meter, 6.7kW, a retractable device using Russian structures and American solar cells.

The module was mated with the station on November 14, 1995 at the Kristall module's axial docking port. New versions of the SO are also to be delivered by Russia to the International Space Station, though these plans are in constant flux.


Specification

Total Length: 4.7 m. Maximum Diameter: 2.2 m. Total Mass: 6,134 kg. Electrical System: None.


Mir-Shuttle Docking Module Chronology


01 May 1993 Mir-Shuttle Docking Module proposed

In discussions regarding docking the US Shuttle with the Mir space station, NASA expressed concern about the clearances between the Shuttle and Mir's solar panels when using the docking port designed for Buran on the Kristall module. The Russians thought NASA overly cautious, but NPO Energia offered a solution - a modified version of the Buran SO, to be delivered by the Shuttle. The specialised SO docking module was originally designed for docking the Buran space shuttle with the Mir-2 space station. In the 1992 concept the module would be delivered by a Progress-M tug to Mir-2 and included a lateral EVA hatch.


01 January 1994 Mir-Shuttle Docking Module design approved.

The simplified SO design deleted the lateral airlock. Qualification was relatively straightforward since the basic structure of the Soyuz BO orbital module was used, and the APDS androgynous docking port installation had already been proven on Soyuz-TM16. The draft project was completed in December 1993.


01 April 1994 Mir-Shuttle Docking Module Mock-up delivered to NASA
07 June 1995 Mir-Shuttle Docking Module delivered.

Mir-Shuttle Docking Module flight article reached the Kennedy Space Center. It would be docked to the Mir station on November 14, 1995 at the Kristall module's axial docking port.


12 November 1995 Mir-Shuttle Docking Module Program: Mir. Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. Mass: 6,134 kg. Perigee: 356 km. Apogee: 342 km. Inclination: 51.6 deg. Duration: 8.19 days.

Atlantis rendezvoused and docked with Mir space station on Nov 15. After departure the Russian-built 316GK Shuttle-Mir docking module remained attached to Mir to provide easier docking capability in the future.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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