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N° 9–2017: International space docking standard updated

10 March 2017

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 IDSS interface definition document and target user guide are available at: http://www.internationaldockingstandard.com

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

ESA has established formal cooperation with six Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with EUMETSAT for the development of meteorological missions.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in the Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications domain.

Learn more about ESA at www.esa.int

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ESA Media Relations Office

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Email: media@esa.int

 

 


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