Nodal Module

Nodal Module

The Nodal Module (NM) is a pressurized module of the Russian Segment (RS or ROS) of the International Space Station (ISS) and will be used in the OPSEK space station. NM is being developed by RSC Energia in order to support the docking to ISS RS of two scientific and power modules during the final stage of the segment assembly and to provide on this segment additional docking ports to receive Soyuz TMA and Progress M spacecraft. NM is to be incorporated into ISS in 2012.



The Nodal Module would be integrated with a special version of the Progress cargo ship and launched by a standard Soyuz rocket. The Progress would use its own propulsion and flight control system to deliver and dock the Nodal Module to the nadir (Earth-facing) docking port of the Nauka MLM/FGB-2 module on the Russian segment of the ISS.


The Nadir (earth-facing) docking port will support automated transfer of propellants between docked Russian spacecraft and the ROS in both directions, and automated docking of manned and unmanned spacecraft using the Kurs radio telemetry system. According to the stations normal orientation, the module will provide the following ports, Zenith (top) one Active Hybrid, 4 Passive Hybrid and one Nadir Passive Transformed Hybrid, which is able to support Active Hybrid and Active Standard Probe spacecraft. The docking compartment has an internal volume of 14 cubic meters.


Initial plans

The Universal Docking Module (UDM) (Russian: Универсальный стыковочный модуль) was a planned Russian docking module for the International Space Station, to be jointly built by RKK Energia and Khrunichev. The original design resembled the Functional Cargo Block albeit larger, and would have it docked to the nadir (Earth-facing) Zvezda service module docking port, and have four docking ports to accommodate the two Russian Research Modules and the SO2 docking compartment. Because the SO2 and a Research Module were cancelled due to lack of funds, this module was also cancelled. The one remaining Research Module was then scheduled to be fitted to the open docking port on Zvezda. Later it was also cancelled and that port was allocated to the Docking Cargo Module. DCM scheduled location was later moved to Zarya.

In the current plans the Zvezda nadir location is scheduled to be used by the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM). Additionally the SO2 was put back in the plans, but relocated to Zvezda zenith location (the location for the canceled SPP).

Current proposal

In the mid-2000s, RKK Energia, the manufacturer of the ROS components, again added the UM to the future configuration of the ISS. The proposal is to execute a similar to the original ISS plan with the addition of a Nodal Module (significant modification of the UDM design - to increase the number of docking ports from 4 to 6 and to take into account its location at MLM nadir - at the same time with reducing its weight from 20t to 4t and removing the additional life-support system[1]) and two additional science/energy modules to the segment around 2013-2015.[2][3] Despite its small size, this four-ton, ball-shaped module could play an extremely important role in the Russian space program.

The first task of the module would be to enable the addition of a pair of science and power modules, NEMs (Science-Power Module-1 and Science-Power Module-2), to the Russian segment, which were intended to replace a canceled Science Power Platform, NEP. However more importantly, this node module was conceived to serve as the only permanent element of the future Russian successor to the ISS, OPSEK. Equipped with six docking ports, the Nodal Module would serve as a single permanent core of the future station with all other modules coming and going as their life span and mission required. This would become a new generation of space station, beyond Russia's MIR space station and the ISS , which are more advanced than early monolithic first generation stations, such as Salyut, Almaz, and Skylab.

The Preliminary design was completed on Jan. 15, 2011, when RKK Energia announced that its Scientific and Technical Council, NTS, conducted a meeting, which reviewed and approved the preliminary design of the Nodal Module and associated hardware. The meeting also approved the specialized launch craft, a Progress cargo ship designated the Progress M–UM and the adaptation of the Soyuz rocket for the launch of the Progress M-UM spacecraft-module.[4][5]


External links


See also

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