Today I've read in the Facebook group of Roscosmos (original text in Russian) that 16 years ago on this day the Zvezda module was launched into space. According to the article 2 weeks later it docked to the ISS, which back then consisted of the Unity and Zarya modules.

AFAIR the Soyuz spacecraft can reach the ISS in 6 to 48 hours.

Why did it take Zvezda 2 weeks to dock to the ISS? Or is this a typo?


1 Answer 1


I've looked through a large number of sources, Zvezda really did take 2 weeks to dock to the ISS, launching July 12 and docking July 26, 2000. SpaceFlightNow did a pretty good job of explaining what was happening during those two weeks.

It will take flight controllers two full weeks to activate and check out Zvezda's systems and to maneuver the spacecraft into the proper orbit and orientation for docking with the international space station.

The 6 hour orbital option wasn't available then. The first Soyuz took about 48 hours, but they were significantly less complex than Zvezda, which had to deploy large solar panels, wasn't really meant for major movement in space, etc, while Soyuz is designed for more maneuverability in space.


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