Boeing continues progress on improved space station docking system
Houston, August 28, 2014 (STAT):-– Boeing will begin manufacturing a new docking system for the International Space Station (ISS), having recently completed the critical design review for the NASA Docking System Block-1 (NDSB-1). In compliance with the International Docking System standard, NDSB-1 will be compatible with any space craft. “This new docking system is a key stepping stone as we look to the future of deep space exploration,” said John Shannon, Boeing International Space Station program manager. “With this milestone, our team remains on schedule to support vehicle dockings for NASA beginning in 2016.” The docking system includes a new design that will enable current and future spacecraft to latch onto the ISS at one of two International Docking Adapters, also built by the Boeing team. The system will also include a tunnel for crew and cargo to move between the two vehicles. The NDSB-1 will attach to a newly designed port on the ISS called the International Docking Adaptor, or IDA. Once on orbit, the docking system will give the crew the capability to remain docked at the ISS for up to seven months. Boeing continues to study future upgrades to the NDSB-1 system for opportunities to enhance other missions, including deep space rendezvous with larger Space Launch System-sized vehicles. “Although the International Space Station has long been complete, we continually improve and upgrade it to support current and future NASA missions, enabling ground-breaking scientific research,” said Shannon.