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    Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

      Space Station Assembly

*Elements: Pirs Docking Compartment*

The 16-foot-long, 8,000-pound Pirs Docking Compartment is attached to 
the bottom, Earth-facing port of the Zvezda Service Module. It docked to 
the space station on Sept. 16, 2001 
</spacenews/reports/issreports/2001/iss01-30.html> and was configured 
during three spacewalks </station/crew/exp3/eva/index.html> by the 
Expedition Three crew. Pirs, also known as DC-1, launched Sept. 14, 
2001, as ISS Assembly Mission 4R 
</station/assembly/flights/2001/4r.html> on a Russian Soyuz rocket. Two 
more Russian docking compartments are planned for the space station. The 
Universal Docking Module will replace Pirs, and Pirs will re-enter the 
Earth's atmosphere and disintegrate. Another docking compartment known 
as DC-2 will also launch to the station.

The Docking Compartment has two primary functions. It serves as a 
docking port for the docking of transport and cargo vehicles to the 
space station, and as an airlock for the performance of spacewalks by 
two station crewmembers using Russian Orlan spacesuits. In addition, the 
Docking Compartment can transport fuel from the fuel tanks of a docked 
Progress resupply vehicle to either the Zvezda Service Module Integrated 
Propulsion System or the Zarya Functional Cargo Block Propulsion System. 
It can also transfer propellant from the Zvezda and Zarya to the 
propulsion system of docked vehicles -- Soyuz and Progress. The docking 
compartment's lifetime as part of the ISS is five years.

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