I couldn't find any photos or information about how the Russian modules are configured inside the panels; RussianSpaceWeb's Nauka page has some articles that would likely help, but they're paywalled. Panels in the US segment are modular ISPR racks, but the Russian panels seem to be built into the module.

Interior of FGB showing wall panels

Above: Zarya/FGB interior showing panels

Below: Photos of Zvezda show some equipment flush-mounted into the wall panels. Were these integrated before launch, and can the walls and equipment behind them be reconfigured?

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Is the interior of Russian ISS modules modular like the US modules?


Entirely different thought process and history.

The Russian segment especially suffers from a long history in this context.

Panels in the US segment are modular ISPR racks, but the Russian panels seem to be built into the module.

Completely different design philosophies.

IIRC, a lot of the interior design for the USOS dates back to the effort for Space Station Freedom.

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From the Space Station Freedom handbook, 1992, showing the design philosophy for the USOS modules that was already in place circa mid 1980s.

By the time ISS was announced back in 93, modules and parts for SSF were already in early fabrication process.

(IIRC there is some shared history between what is now Nanoracks with Spacelab/hab and development on SSF)

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Spacelab in 1992 - a module that was flown in the cargo bay of the orbiter. Shows rack design philosophy that continued in the USOS.

The ROS is literally based on design concepts that go much earlier, in fact they had not changed much since the first monolithic space stations, the first of which went up in 1971.

The main reason being that the Soviet designs were meant to have short 3 year life spans - therefore everything was built in the factory. And built twice. The engineers actually expected to be cancelled at any time and so there was not much progress in design that was made aside from the changes for mission specifics, and the eventual need to modularize and build berthing abilities for add on modules (resulting in Salyut 6, 7 and Mir)

ROS philosophy was once the time was up on the modules in space, they would just deorbit them and replace them, no need to refit interiors.

This caused a lot of issues for the ISS as the ROS modules had to be uprated from 3 (Mir was 5 years rated) years to at least 10-15.

Photos of Zvezda show some equipment flush-mounted into the wall panels. Were these integrated before launch, or can the walls and equipment behind them be reconfigured?

Integrated before? Yes. Reconfigured after? Essentially no.

This is what caused some issues with Salyut and Mir - mould was growing in places they could not reach, amongst other issues (like finding leaks)

If you look at any design plans for the USOS, there is a lot of modularity and replaceability built in from the start.

As you can see, the interior of the ROS is not really changed from the Soviet era early stations.

In fact, for the ROS, Zvezda dates from 1986 as a back up to Mir, Zarya is a module design from Mir, though built in 1996 to US specs (and is US owned), and Nauka is a back up to Zarya (Soviets/Russians always built in twos, so one was a backup for the first failing. If successful, the backup became the next module launched). As such, the backup built for Mir, was then scheduled to be the next space station Mir-2 core module, and then became repurposed as Zvezda (launching 14 years after it was built).

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This is a cutaway from Salyut 7 with Kosmos 1443 attached. They were built as you see them on the factory floor and flown with no expectation of replacing what has been put in, other than repairs during its lifespan. Minus the conical observation platform in the larger section it was unchanged through Mir to Zvezda.

You'll note that minus the crewed return capsule, Kosmos 1443 is actually the base body of Nauka/Zarya. This was a rival spacecraft on its own to Soyuz, but lost out and became the additional module design making up Mir in later years.

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Museum mock up showing that parts are essentially bolted on to the pressure hull and then covered over.

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Nauka MLM undergoing fitting out IIRC - essentially nothing had changed in design philosophy in decades.

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    $\begingroup$ Have you seen the Russian Segment User Manual studylib.net/doc/18489059/iss-russian-segment-user-manual ? Section 4 talks about the science payload accomodations. The whole document is pretty informative. $\endgroup$ Apr 14 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ No, thanks for the link. I guess that makes my answer out of date! Great info! I guess they had to change their methodology, but with their lack of resources I didn't think they would get that far! $\endgroup$ Apr 14 at 20:31
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    $\begingroup$ No, not at all, your answer is good. The online document is pretty old (2011). I have a 2016 version which is still pretty old. $\endgroup$ Apr 14 at 20:32
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    $\begingroup$ Given how slowly the Russian space program moves thats probably still up to date! :) $\endgroup$ Apr 14 at 20:35
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, I'd imagine it's still mostly valid, especially for the older modules. $\endgroup$ Apr 14 at 20:42

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