European brains behind Russian Space Station module
The Russian Zvezda (star) service module was the first fully Russian contribution to the International Space Station and serves as one of the living quarters for the crews.
Zvezda’s electronic 'brain' is ESA’s Data Management System (DMS-R) which performs overall control of all Russian station elements in orbit, as well as guidance and navigation for the whole Space Station in special cases.
The module is similar in layout to the core module of Russia’s Mir station – indeed the design was originally intended for a Mir-2 complex planned in the late 1980s. It was launched in 2000 by a Proton booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazahakstan, becoming the third Space station infrastructure element to reach orbit and dock with the Zarya/Unity pair that had been flying since 1998.
Zvezda's specification includes provision of a life support system, electrical power distribution, data processing, flight control, propulsion and a communications system that includes remote command capabilities by ground controllers.
The module, comprising three pressurised sections, is 13 m long and spans 30 m across its solar arrays, with a total pressurised volume of 89.0 m³.
Zvezda’s living accommodation provides two personal sleeping quarters, a toilet and hygiene unit, a galley with refrigerator-freezer and a table for securing meals while eating.
The 14 windows offer direct viewing of docking activities, the Earth and other Station elements. Exercise equipment includes a treadmill and a fixed bicycle.
Zvezda also provides data, voice and TV links with mission control centres in Moscow and Houston.
ESA, together with a European industrial consortium headed by Astrium (formerly DASA) in Bremen, Germany, and including Belgian, Dutch and French partners, was responsible for the design, development and delivery of the DMS-R core data management system.
ESA provided DMS-R in return for Rosaviakosmos supplying two flight unit docking systems for Europe’s Space Station ferry (the Automated Transfer Vehicle), so that both sides receive important elements with no exchange of funds.
DMS-R provides system and subsystem monitoring and control for Zvezda, including real-time computing for guidance, navigation and control of the whole Station.
Last update: 25 October 2001