The International Space Station (ISS) Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) has given the green light to updated guidelines created to allow a variety of different spacecraft to dock with the station, NASA announced Monday.
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The first addition of the guidelines, the docking system standard, was first established in 2010 and allows a variety of different spacecraft to dock to the station. With the latest update, the guidelines will feature more than twice the content, which allows in-orbit crew rescue to be conducted by a number of spacecraft, as well as international partnership for the exploration of future spacecraft.
MCB Chair and NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate William Gernstenmaier said the upgrade to the standard will give additional international agencies and commercial enterprises the opportunity to participate in ISS activities and space exploration.
“We have already seen benefits of this standard, creating the opportunity to develop additional standards for spacecraft design,” Gernstenmaier added. “The International Docking Adapters that will soon be installed on the space station are fully compatible with the docking standard, which means that any spacecraft can use the adapters in the future – from new commercial spacecraft to other international spacecraft yet to be designed.”
The improved standard also includes a number of operations that makes rendezvousing with the station easier.
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