Are there any androgynous docking/berthing systems currently in use for docking?

I've browsed the list and it seems all the androgynous systems fall into three groups:

  • obsolete / used on crafts no longer in use
  • used for berthing only
  • planned / in development, or craft they are to be used on is in development.

Maybe I missed something, but are currently any androgynous systems used for docking (and not just berthing)? Any spacecraft out there that could dock to other spacecraft?


1 Answer 1


Depends on the definition of usage, there are one or two systems in use as of the time of this question.

Between November 2011 and June 2013, Tiangong-1 Target Vehicle had been visited by three Shenzhou spacecraft. Those spacecraft used an androgynous docking mechanism. However, it is not clear whether it is compatible with APAS-89/95.

It is worth to mention that PMA-1 and Zarya are connected by APAS-95.

  • $\begingroup$ The PMAs on the ISS are permanently "passive" though, so although they're APAS they're not actually androgynous. $\endgroup$ Commented May 17, 2017 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ PMA-1 has an active APAS. However, I cannot find any source for the state of APAS on Zarya. $\endgroup$
    – Mys_721tx
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ From page 23 of your linked PDF, "However on the ISS Pressurized Mating Adapters (PMAs) the station half of the APAS is permanently passive" $\endgroup$ Commented May 17, 2017 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ hm, yet I'm seeing some other non-authoritative sources agreeing with you that PMA-1's APAS is active, and this photo of Zarya's APAS appears to be in the passive state as docking approaches... not sure how to reconcile that with other official NASA statements that all PMAs on the ISS are identical... $\endgroup$ Commented May 17, 2017 at 0:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Regardless, AFAIK, none of PMAs on ISS are currently used for docking. PMA1 berths the Russian segments, pretty much permanently. 2 and 3 are not in active use. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 1:20

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