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International space docking standard updated
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Mar 13, 2017

Check out the full details here.

The International Space Station Multilateral Coordination Board has approved a major update to the station docking system standard. First released in 2010, the docking standard established a common standard to enable spacecraft of multiple types to dock to space stations and with each another in space.

The latest revision, E, solidifies the International Docking Standard (IDSS) as an internationally recognised and accepted standard for both docking system design and rendezvous targets for both the International Space Station and further exploration around the Moon and beyond.

"The latest revision to the docking standard further opens the door to contributions by international agencies, as well as commercial enterprises for both the International Space Station and exploration," said William Gerstenmaier, chair of the Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) and associate administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission.

"We have already seen benefits of this standard, which created the opportunity to develop additional standards for spacecraft design. NASA's International Docking Adapter (IDA-2) was recently installed on the International Space Station and is fully compliant with this standard.

"The companion Target User Guide has also been released into the public domain further solidifies the use of standardised docking targets. The IDSS has been fully adopted since there are now six docking systems under development."

David Parker, ESA's Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, noted,

"ESA has been committed to the development of this docking standard since the inception of the working group. We have been working for a number of years on the International Berthing Docking Mechanism (IBDM) design, which is now fully compatible with the International Docking Standard. The IBDM development has been confirmed by the ESA Member States and will be operational by 2020."

"The IDSS is an outstanding example of international collaboration," said Sergei Krikalev of Roscosmos.

"The addition of berthing capability standards supports further exploration scenarios," commented Gilles Leclerc of the Canadian Space Agency.

The MCB released the document to allow non-partner agencies and commercial developers to review the new standard and provide feedback. Technical teams from the five space station partner agencies will continue to work on additional refinements and revisions to the standard.

The Second Moon Race
Gerroa, Australia (SPX) Mar 13, 2017
The US and China are in an undeclared race back to the Moon. At first glance it's easy to dismiss China's efforts as being little more than what the US and Russia achieved decades ago. And while the pace of China's manned launches has been slow with over a year in many cases between launches; looks can be deceptive and China has achieved each critical step towards building a permanent spac ... read more

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