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Mir-Shuttle Docking Module
Part of Mir
Russian manned space station. A specialized SO docking module was originally designed for docking the Buran space shuttle with the Mir-2 space station.

AKA: 316GK;316GK SM. Status: Operational 1995. First Launch: 1995-11-12. Last Launch: 1995-11-12. Number: 1 . Gross mass: 6,134 kg (13,523 lb). Height: 4.70 m (15.40 ft).

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 Kristal 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 Kristal 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 Kristal module's axial docking port. New versions of the SO were also to be delivered by Russia to the International Space Station, though these plans were in constant flux.

Family: Soviet Space Stations, Space station, Space station orbit. Country: Russia. Spacecraft: Mir. Launch Vehicles: Space Shuttle. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral, Cape Canaveral LC39A. Agency: NASA, Korolev bureau. Bibliography: 2, 51, 6, 7, 8.

1993 May - .
1994 During the Year - .
1994 April - .
1995 June 7 - .
1995 November 12 - . 12:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.

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