Astronauts Install New Docking Port for U.S. Commercial Crew Vehicles

©NASA

Astronauts Install New Docking Port for U.S. Commercial Crew Vehicles.

Outside the International Space Station, Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA installed a new docking port onto the forward end of the Harmony module during a spacewalk on August 19.

The first of two International Docking Adapters was installed and latched in place onto Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 on the forward end of Harmony, the same place that space shuttles used to dock during the shuttle era. The new docking port will be the port of call for the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 "Starliner" commercial crew vehicles that are under development. The docking adapter was launched in July aboard a SpaceX/Dragon cargo vehicle. A second docking adapter for the U.S. commercial crew vehicles is being constructed and will ultimately be placed on the space-facing side of the Harmony module. Williams and Rubins will conduct a second spacewalk on Sept. 1 to retract a thermal radiator on the port truss of the station and install the first of several high definition cameras outside the complex.

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