Thursday, November 12, 2009

Watch live: Russian module docking at station

Update: The Poisk module docked successfully at 10:41 a.m. EST, as the station flew 222 miles above northern Kazakhstan. Leak checks will follow. Station crew members are expected to open the module's hatch for the first time tomorrow morning.

A new module is set to make an automated docking with the Russian section of the International Space Station.

The Mini Research Module-2, named "Poisk," or Explore, launched two days ago on a Soyuz booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Click here to open a NASA TV video player and watch the docking live.

The four-ton module, measuring 13 feet long and eight feet in diameter, is flying around the station to line up for a planned 10:44 a.m. docking about 220 miles above Earth.

Hooks and latches will fasten Poisk to space-facing port of the Zvezda Service Module. Its arrival comes less than a week before shuttle Atlantis and six plan to reach the station.

Poisk will provide new docking ports, an airlock for spacewalkers and an experiment platform.

A sister module is targeted for launch in the shuttle Atlantis next May.

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