Pirs (ISS module)

List of ISS modules

Pirs (Russian Пирс for Pier ) or Docking Compartment 1 (Russian Стыковочный Отсек 1, pronounced as Stykowotschny Otsek ), manufacturer name 240ГК № 1Л, is a Russian coupling and exit module of the International Space Station ( ISS) and also the third Russian module of the station.

The production of the module began in 1998 at RKK Energia. The end of 2000 it was completed and sent to start preparations to Baikonur. The launch took place on 14 September 2001 by a Soyuz -U carrier rocket. For transporting the module to the space station a modified Progress transport ship was used, with Pirs took up the position of the cargo section of GO and the tank section OKD. From the actual Progress only the service section PAO remained with the engines and power systems. Approximately 25 hours after the start of the transport ship docked automatically to the bottom docking port of Zvezda. After the successful docking with the ISS, the service section of the Progress freighter was detached and taken to burn up in the atmosphere.

The construction of Pirs based on a designed in the 1980s for the Buran space shuttle SO- docking module, where the Space Shuttle to dock with a space station should. A similar docking module a somewhat simpler design was used for the coupling of the space shuttle to the space station Mir.

Pirs is 4.05 m long ( with coupling units 4.91 m), has a maximum diameter of 2.55 m and a mass of 3676 kg with supplied freight and will be installed later elements ( empty weight 2882 kg ). The module offers about 13 cubic meters of pressurized space, especially for equipment that are required for the exits. These are located in the outer surface two opposing hatches with a diameter of one meter, which are suitable to the exit of two cosmonauts in Orlan -M spacesuits. Both hatches are equivalent and can be depending on which side of the exit is more convenient to use. The hatches open inward and are designed for 120 opening and closing cycles. Each hatch has a round window with 228 mm diameter.

Pirs has fuel lines to transport the products supplied by Progress freighters fuel into the modules Zarya and Zvezda. On the outside of the module to 2012 the two Strela cranes were installed which supported the astronauts in their spacewalks.

Pirs has two docking port: an active saver- type " SSWP -M 8000" at the end of the module, which is docked to the ISS, as well as a passive docking port of type " SSWP G4000 " on the opposite end located on the Space Shuttle can create. Pirs acts as a kind of adapters and so in addition to the Zarya nadir and aft docking port of the Zvezda service module is a third possibility for coupling of the Soyuz spacecraft and Progress cargo ships. Before the coupling of Pirs only two supply ships could be docked with a Russian docking port on the station.

The useful life of Pirs was originally set at five years, ie until September 2006. Thereafter, the exchange should take place by an identical module (SO -2 and DC -2). Because of delays in the Russian space program Pirs is still to this day in operation. On 12 November 2009 the achieved now as Poisk designated replacement module of the station. Poisk was attached to the opposite unused docking port, so that Pirs still remains in space and can be used in addition. According to current planning Pirs is released in April 2014 with the Progress M -22M from the station complex and taken from the space shuttle to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere to make the docking port for the Russian MLM research module free.