Mini-Research Module 1

Mini-Research Module 1

The Mini-Research Module 1 (MRM1), also known as the 'Docking Cargo Module', is the newest addition to the International Space Station (ISS) manifest. It is currently scheduled to fly in 2010 onboard the STS-132 Shuttle mission. This Russian-built cargo module, if flown, will likely be docked to the nadir port of "Zarya" with help from the SSRMS. [cite web | url = | title = Docking Cargo Module | publisher = ] . If MRM1 is added to the space station, then the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM) will likely be on the nadir port of "Zvezda", and Node 3 will come to reside on the port hatch of "Unity". [ [ Russian Segment] ] The MRM1 will carry outfitting equipment from NASA for the MLM, a spare elbow joint for the European Robotic Arm, and a radiator. This enables NASA to fulfill its promise to ship the 1.4 metric tons to equip the MLM to the ISS. [cite web | url = | title = NASA Extends Contract With Russia’s Federal Space Agency | publisher = NASA] When this module arrives, it will mark the completion of the Russian segment of the ISS.

The module will be built from the already-made pressurized hull of the mock-up for dynamic tests of the canceled Science Power Platform [ [] Novosti Kosmonavtiki №2007/6] and will be primarily used for cargo storage and docking with the ISS. It will have two docking units: one to attach to the nadir port of the "Zarya" module, and one to provide a docking port for the Soyuz, Progress, and ATV spacecraft. It replaces the last of the 2 planned Russian Research Modules in the original design of ISS.

NASA has a depiction of the MRM 1 in position on the Russian Segment of the ISS. [ Image]


This module came to exist out of two requirements that needed to be fulfilled by the ISS partners:
# NASA is under contract to carry the MLM outfitting equipment into space.
# The overlapping missions of the Progress, Soyuz and ATV spacecraft highlights the need of having four Russian docking ports available on the ISS. The cancellation of both Russian Research Modules meant that the ISS would be left with just three such docking ports after the installation of Node 3, which makes the nadir port of "Zarya" unusable.

The new MRM solves both of these issues. NASA will not need to add another payload rack, but can attach its materials to the MRM1; the ISS will have 4 docking ports available (the aft port of Zvezda, the one port of the pirs docking compartment on the nadir port of Zvezda, and the two ports on the MRM1 on the nadir port of Zaria); and Russia's cancellation of the Research Module is of less consequence for the ISS program as a whole.


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