back to article Parking spot flies to International Space Station

A new Russian module has arrived at the International Space Station today, providing the orbiting outpost with an much-needed extra parking spot for its expanded crew of six. The unmanned Russian Mini-Research Module 2, also known as Poisk, docked to the space-faring port of the Zvezda service module on Thursday 15:41 GMT (10: …


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  1. Graham Marsden

    "much-needed extra parking spot"

    Sheesh, why can't they just use public transport or cycle instead...?

  2. Jeff 10
    Paris Hilton

    Only one American dock?

    I'd think we would at least have two American docks for the shuttle in the event one malfunctioned.

    Paris because I'm sure she would like to have 5 docking ports...

  3. Horridbloke

    That's great but... isn't _that_ long until the whole thing is due to be deorbitted (before the end of the next decade if I heard correctly). At this rate it'll be finished and then nudged into the atmosphere the next day to burn up.

    Alien because they're up there laughing at us.

  4. Paul 129


    The Poisk looks like a cyberman ship from the old Tombaker Arc in space episodes.

    Funny how life imitates art at times.

  5. Julian 4

    Pounds in space

    "1,750 pounds of equipment ... 8,000 pounds.. 13 feet long and eight feet" - What? Has Nasa finally convinced Russia to think in retro-units? I know the US has yet to step into the 21st century measurement-wise, but is Nasa really sucking the rest of the space industry into its 1960s vision of the future?

    Or maybe Torchwood is behind it all ;-) ?

    For the other 95% of the planet: 8000 pounds is about 3636.36Kg; 1750 pounds is about 795.45Kg; 13 feet is roughly 3.96m.

    Beer - Because everyone knows what a pint is!

  6. Mike VandeVelde

    yes but...

    how many cubits is that? sorry, err, linguines? linguinii? never mind.

  7. Kevin 6


    So it will be like most government construction projects then. I've had my city completely repave my street just to completely rip it up 2 days later to install sewer pipes. Which they threw gravel on and then left it unpaved for 2 months...

    I'm guessing it will be more like OK WE FINALLY COMPLETED THE ISS...five minutes later its being knocked down into earth orbit.

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Proost ...... and no wonder Mars is such an Attractive Space for Parties Thirsting for Knowledge*

    "Beer - Because everyone knows what a pint is!" .... By Julian 4 Posted Thursday 12th November 2009 23:17 GMT

    Aye, Julian, they do. Not nearly enough to make a difference :-) So please, here's another one to enjoy. It must be Friday, is it? :-)


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Paris' docking ports

    I count seven potential docking ports, though two are in "normal" use....

  10. David Dingwall

    not trru the whole thing will be de-orbited, says other websites

    " isn't _that_ long until the whole thing is due to be deorbitted " and other sites say the Rusians have plans to continue, even if they have to disconnect the US sections, and let them de-orbit. With this component connected, they now have the lego connections to do that.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The REAL measurements

    "Poisk arrived at the ISS carrying about 189 jubs of equipment that includes water supply gear, crew hygiene supplies, medical equipment, personal items, and spare parts. The module weighs about 864 jubs and is about 28,3 linguine long (0,43 double-deckers) and 17,4 linguine in diameter at its widest point, according to RegNASA."

  12. Poor Coco

    Re: pounds in space

    I noticed that too.... and, what's worse, pounds are units of force, not mass! That 3600kg of MASS has a WEIGHT of exactly ZERO POUNDS now.

    I'm going back to sleep.

  13. Astarte

    @ Julian 4. Re.: The Standard Pint?

    Don't bet on it Julian 4 - US pints are about 473 cubic centimetres (16 fl. oz.); UK Pints are 568 cubic centimetres or 20 fl. oz.

    That's also why one US gallon is only 0.8 of a British gallon.

    I do agree that it’s about time the press stopped pandering to the US parochialism of pretending that everyone else in the world uses ‘their’ standards

    Incidentally, my beer comes in half-litres, very nearly a pint.

    Getting back to the ISS I’d have expected a general standardisation of docking and ingress/egress points for emergency access, as they have on submarines. Unilateralism in these things does not bode well for future cooperation in space exploration missions

  14. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: Only one American dock?

    True, but terribly naive.

    The Americans will put up four docking ports, to maintain docking port parity and also preserve the existing one for willy-waving value (regardless of whether or not they actually have any spacecraft to dock with them). Barack Obama will make a keynote speech stating the new US objective to have over a hundred docking ports in orbit before the end of the decade. The Russians will counter by announcing a humungous new booster capable of lifting a single 100 port module in one go, which they'll never actually build. The Americans will spend billions of dollars actually building a similar booster (which will differ in that it will have plush upholstry, be able to also carry a crew and have a potato peeling attachment*), before they notice that the Russians haven't ponied up with the firestick.

    The ISS will run out of power and come crashing back to earth as all its solar panels will be shaded by docking port modules.

    *Courtesy of a NASA budget bill line item.

  15. Graham Bartlett

    Re de-orbitting the ISS

    Remember that the Eiffel Tower was only supposed to stay up for a year too.

    It's a shame they dumped Mir really. But by the end Mir was a godawful botch-job, full of short-circuits and riddled with a nasty type of fungus that was affecting astronauts' health and eating away at the circuitry, so it was too hard to keep it going.

    Once there's enough ISS up there to do useful stuff, I expect it *will* get some real use. Crystal growth in particular is something which can be done properly in zero-G, and that's got real implications for silicon wafers and other real-world stuff. The problem until very recently is that there hasn't been enough ISS to allow more crew than required to keep the thing ticking over, so zero-G experiments just haven't been happening. Now they are, which is good.

    The ISS problem at the moment is that it's in LEO which isn't a good place for most things. An ISS out at a Lagrange point would be significantly more useful. All current space-based observatories need to work 100%, and any failure tends to wipe them out. Having the ISS in reasonable proximity to WMAP or future Hubbles would solve the maintenance problem - you'd still need to send parts up the gravity well, but it'd be a lot easier if there's a maintenance crew on hand. Out at a Lagrange point, you're also outside the Earth's magnetic field, so it's a good opportunity to check how exposure to solar radiation affects people and equipment (and to test out your shielding), whilst still being close enough to get back home. As a stepping-stone to Mars, that'd be a good call.

    The problem of course is how to lift it. The likely answer would be a VASIMR engine. That wouldn't generate enough impulsive thrust to affect ISS integrity, but it'd still provide enough push to move the ISS around at a reasonable rate. The ISS doesn't look much like a rocket or a space shuttle, but of course there's no need for it too - space doesn't need aerodynamics.

  16. AlistairJ
    Thumb Up

    Ahem, personal items?

    Come on El Reg what we want to know is, has anyone smuggled a grot mag up there yet, and if so, who has had the first one-handed space walk?

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