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Russians Unveil Rassvet

March 26th, 2010

From Universe Today

Russian space managers unveiled a science beauty today (March 25) in Florida, namely the ‘Rassvet’ research room which serves as Russia’s newest contribution to the International Space Station. Although ‘Rassvet’ was built entirely in Russia, the module is hitching a ride aboard the American Space Shuttle Atlantis as the primary cargo for the STS 132 station assembly mission slated to blast off soon in May 2010. ‘Rassvet’ translates as ‘Dawn’.

I was quite fortunate to inspect ‘Rassvet’ up close today during a press briefing and photo op inside the clean room at the Astrotech Space Operations Facility in Port Canaveral, FL and also speak with the top Russian space officials from RSC Energia who are responsible for her construction. Astrotech is situated a few miles south of the shuttle launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center from which she’ll depart Earth.

NASA is launching ‘Rassvet’, formally known as the Mini Research Module-1, or MRM 1, as part of a complex barter agreement among the partner nations of the ISS to share the costs of assembling and operating the massive orbiting outpost.

MRM-1 will be attached to the Earth- facing (nadir) port of the russian Zarya control module at the ISS. See diagram below showing location of MRM-1 and other components on the Russian Orbital Segment of the ISS.

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