The Roscosmos Media video Первое видео из модуля «Наука» (google translates to: "The first video from the module "Science" (Nauka)) shows Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov opening the hatch to Nauka and entering into it.

It shows Novitsky (I think) using a tool to open or at least unlock the hatch. It is a metal rectangular prism of roughly 4 x 6 x 10 cm with a handle and string on one end and a ~8 cm long 1.5 cm diameter metal post protruding from the side. Novitsky appears to insert this into a keyhole on the hatch, remove it, then open the hatch.

Question: What exactly is this device? What is it's function, how does it work? Is it basically the keys to Nauka's front door? When did it get to the ISS?

screenshot from the Roscosmos Media video "Первое видео из модуля «Наука»" https://youtu.be/XWiO95wpcmI google translates to: "The first video from the module 'Science'" (Nauka)


1 Answer 1


Its a standard key for the Russian hatches.

bit short of time atm, will add more.

Actually answered here:

How is the docking hatch on the Progress/ATV opened?

The hatch opening procedure is described on page 39, section 5.2 of the Russian Segment Operations 2A.2B Flight document (PDF) posted on spaceref.com:


Hatch tool→РАБОЧЕЕ ПОЛОЖЕНИЕ (Working Position)

Fully insert hatch tool extension into socket ГЕРМЕТИЗАЦИЯ КРЫШКИ (hatch actuator) Secure hatch tool extension on SM passive docking unit cone Fully insert hatch tool into socket on hatch tool extension Rotate hatch tool in the direction of arrow ОТКРЫТИЕ (Open) until it clicks (6-7 turns) Stow hatch tool and hatch tool extension into СтА accessories kit 11Ф732.Г4000А1-30 Open hatch and secure it in open position Report to MCC. MCC-H⇒MCC-M

enter image description here



From the same link in the answer above i got most of the answers below:

What is it's function,

allows you to unlock, open and then remove the hatch.

how does it work?

Lots of gears. Not found a technical description or pictures.

Is it basically the keys to Nauka's front door?

Also keys to Progress, Soyuz, FGB, SM and PMA-1 doors...

When did it get to the ISS?

It is part of a docking accessories kit that includes wipes, extension tool and hatch cover. One kit went up on 2 November 2000 with first crew, unsure if it returned on the decent module though.

It would have been required then to open the hatch to enter Zvezda, FGB and their side of PMA-1.

After all the hatch openings it was returned to a docking accessories kit which was stored inside Soyuz. So, my understanding is that each Soyuz has one, as they refer to a 'nominal position' it is kept in.

The others were launched with each module:

An identical kit is in a storage position on the axial transfer section on Zvezda.

(https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2020/11/20/iss-daily-summary-report-11-20-2020/ says: "Checking Docking Assembly (СтА) accessories kit stowage in SM ПрК" which is Zvezda's rear transfer tunnel)

Another kit is in storage location on panel 230 in FGB.

And another kit was tethered.to PMA-1 hatch handle, and later got moved to Unity module.

Nauka MLM probably has one so they do not need to keep going into the other modules to get parts from those kit bags.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the partial answer! Looking forward to it addressing "How does it work? When did it arrive to the ISS?" if and when possible. Is there like one or two that have been on the ISS from the beginning? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 21:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ uh, should've stopped editing a dead question/answer lol $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 1:30
  • $\begingroup$ Ya the dupe hammer can fall swiftly and unexpectedly, There's nothing wrong with copy/pasting this answer as a new answer to the linked question, though you may have to remove some of the material that's there already. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 1:43
  • $\begingroup$ Kind of crazy that they have a dedicated tool for opening the hatch. Why are they not just using some standard wrench or hex key? $\endgroup$
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 8:15
  • $\begingroup$ Funny you say that because there is a dedicated tool for opening the descent module hatch too (though it looks similar to the hatch opening one). But Russians have stories from Soviet days of being told not to improve or change things for the next project because it will just be a copy and they won't do it again... so opportunities get lost... $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 11:33

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