On Mir, the docking module was at the front end of the station. It technically had 6 ports (one was used to connect to Mir itself, so 5 exposed).

In general the docking node had one active port that a Soyuz, Progress, or incoming module could dock to with Kurs or the like.

Once docked they used the Lyappa Arm to undock, rotate, and move the docked module to a side port or around to another side port.

What I am wondering is, did they ever use Lyappa to move a Soyuz or Progress to a side port?

One clue would be, if a Soyuz could undock on its own from a side port, vs the active docking port. (Soyuz was there as a lifeboat, and is why Dragon has to move to use the PMA/NDS system to dock vs the CBM and berthing since it cannot unberth without the CanadaArm2s help, but could undock from the PMA on its own).

If it could not undock on its own from a side port, then it could never have been there for very long if at all.


I think I found the answer.


Because the Lyappa arm, was not attached to the Mir node, rather the docking node had a connection point, that the modules launched with a Lyappa arm, could latch onto to rotate themeselves.

Thus since Soyuz did not launch with such an arm attached it could not be moved to a side port.

This is because I am interested in how the UM for the ISS being proposed for the Russian segment will work, and if the side ports will be useful for moving Soyuz's around. Looks like not.

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    $\begingroup$ You can watch the manipulator in action in this small video on Energia site. $\endgroup$ – horsh Nov 11 '13 at 20:47
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    $\begingroup$ I think Lyappa is a wrong transliteration, btw. It is not a Russian word. There exists Lapa. That means Pow. And it doesn't seem to be an official project name, just a colloquial "pow". And that's (lapa) how it is called in several books including "100 stories about Docking and other space adventures" by Vladimir Syromyatnikov himself. $\endgroup$ – horsh Nov 11 '13 at 20:47
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    $\begingroup$ I do not dispute your point on the name, only that is the name Wikipedia uses for it, and as we all know the Wikipedia is canonical for literally nothing! $\endgroup$ – geoffc Nov 11 '13 at 23:35

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