Space Station Partners Release International Docking Standard

WASHINGTON -- The International Space Station Multilateral
Coordination Board (MCB) has approved a docking system standard. The
international standard will provide guidelines for a common interface
to link future spacecraft ranging from crewed to autonomous vehicles
and from low-Earth orbit to deep-space exploration missions. The
interface definition document is available at


The MCB consists of senior representatives from NASA, the Russian
Federal Space Agency; the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture,
Sports, Science and Technology assisted by the Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency; the European Space Agency; and the Canadian Space
Agency. The MCB is the space station's senior level management board.
It coordinates the orbiting laboratory's operations and activities among the partners.

"The goal was to identify the requirements to create a standard
interface to enable two different spacecraft to dock in space during
future missions and operations," said Bill Gerstenmaier, MCB chair
and associate administrator for the Space Operations Mission
Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This standard will
ease the development process for emerging international cooperative
space missions and enable the possibility of international crew rescue missions."

This standardization effort will ensure interface commonality without
dictating any particular design behind the standard interface. The
document contains the information necessary to describe physical
features and design loads of a standard docking interface.

The technical teams from the five space station partner agencies will
continue to work on additional refinements and revisions to the initial standard.

The Multilateral Coordination Board released the document to allow
non-partner agencies and commercial developers to review the new
standard and provide feedback.

Interested parties may send comments to:


For information about the International Space Station, visit:


Source: NASA

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