Zvezda Service Module Cornerstone of Russias International Space Station Modules

The Zvezda service module is the first fully Russian contribution to the International Space Station and serves as the cornerstone for early human habitation of the station. Named for the Russian word for 'Star,' the service module is scheduled to be launched unpiloted at 12:56:28 AM EDT on July 12 as the third station component, docking by remote control with the already orbiting Zarya and Unity modules at an altitude of about 245 by 230 statute miles (394 x 371 kilometers).

The 42,000-pound module, similar in layout to the core module of Russia's Mir space station, will provide the early station living quarters; life support system; electrical power distribution; data processing system; flight control system; and propulsion system. It also will provide a communications system that includes remote command capabilities from ground flight controllers.

Zvezda provides life support, command and control and early living quarters to the ISS

Although many of these systems will be supplemented or replaced by later U.S. station components, Zvezda always will remain the structural and functional center of the Russian segment of the International Space Station.

The module has a solar array wingspan of 98 feet tip to tip, and is 43 feet long from end to end. Zvezda contains three pressurized compartments: a small, spherical Transfer Compartment at the forward end; the long, cylindrical main Work Compartment; and the small, cylindrical Transfer Chamber at the aft end. An unpressurized Assembly Compartment is wrapped around the exterior of the Transfer Chamber at the aft of the module and holds external equipment such as propellant tanks, thrusters and communications antennas.

The module includes four docking ports, one in the aft Transfer Chamber and three in the spherical forward Transfer Compartment -- one facing forward, one facing up and one facing down. The aft docking port has a probe and cone docking mechanism to allow dockings by Progress resupply spacecraft and Soyuz piloted spacecraft. Zvezda is also outfitted with an automated rendezvous and docking system. The Zarya control module will dock to the forward docking port. Other modules and equipment, including a Russian Science Power Platform and a Russian Universal Docking Module, eventually will occupy the remaining two forward docking ports.

Living accommodations on Zvezda include personal sleeping quarters for the crew; a toilet and hygiene facilities; a kitchen with a refrigerator-freezer; and a table for securing meals while eating. The module will have a total of 13 windows, including three 9-inch diameter windows in the forward Transfer Compartment for viewing docking activities; one large 16-inch diameter window in the Working Compartment; an individual window in each crew compartment. Additional windows are positioned for Earth and intramodule observations.

Exercise equipment will include a NASA-provided treadmill and a stationary bicycle. The crew's wastewater and condensation water will be recycled for use in oxygen-generating devices on the module, but it is not planned to be recycled for use as drinking water. Spacewalks using Russian Orlan-M spacesuits can be performed from Zvezda by using the Transfer Compartment as an airlock. The module also will provide data, voice and television communications with Mission Control Centers in Moscow and in Houston.

Zvezda will be launched on a Russian Proton booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazahkstan. At launch, many systems will be in standby mode and will activate via preprogrammed commands onboard. The solar arrays will be deployed as will various communications antennas.

The European Space Agency (ESA) provided the Data Management System, which serves as the "brain" of Zvezda. This computer system not only will control service module functions, but also will provide control of Russian station elements as well as the guidance and navigation for the station until the launch of the U.S. Destiny laboratory on the STS-98 mission. Destiny contains the systems, which will assume management and control of ISS operations.

Control of the orientation of the ISS will be an integrated responsibility of both the U.S. and Russian elements with the service module continuing to provide propulsive capability for the ISS for activities such as the periodic reboost of the station. Zvezda's navigation system will provide data to the motion control system of Destiny for U.S. commanding of ISS maneuvers until U.S. Global Positioning System hardware is delivered to the ISS on a future assembly flight.

The Data Management System is the first European hardware to be delivered to ISS. It was developed and manufactured in Europe by an industrial consortium led by DaimlerChrysler of Bremen, Germany. ESA is supplying the system to the Russian partner in return for two flight-unit docking systems (no exchange of funds) for use with a later ESA element, the Automated Transfer Vehicle.

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