Russia Created a New System of Docking Spaceships to the ISS, Replacing Ukrainian Components

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The corresponding message was published on the official website of the Russian Space Systems holding company on January 8th.

“In the past year, the scientific research institute for precision instruments (which is a part of the Russian Space Systems holding company of Roskosmos) completed production and successfully carried out acceptance tests of the new digital ‘Kurs-MKP’ equipment. This is the latest system for docking unmanned and cargo spaceships on the Russian segment of the ISS,” said the press service of the holding company, having added that the new equipment considerably surpasses what the ISS currently has in terms of accuracy and energy efficiency.

The “Kurs” system has been successfully used in space equipment in different modifications since 1986. The equipment was developed in Ukraine and up to 2002 it was made at the Kiev enterprise “Elmis”. Since 2002 the equipment started to be manufactured in Russia with the use of Ukrainian components.

Since 2003 the development of import-independent digital, not analog – like its predecessor, versions of the docking system — “Kurs NA” (new active) – started to be carried out. The first testing took place in 2012, and since 2016 it has been installed on all Russian cargo and unmanned ships.

Then it became known that the system “Kurs-MKP” was being developed, which will replace “Kurs-P” used on the International Space Station. It was reported that the new equipment is easier and three times more energy efficient than the analog of the previous generation.

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The space industry often intersects with the defense industry, which caused problems with cooperation between Russia and Ukraine after the ban on the delivery of products to the defense enterprises of the Russian Federation imposed by the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in 2014.

According to the evaluation of the State Space Agency of Ukraine, the ban on any military-technical cooperation with Russia cost the space industry of the country millions of dollars of losses.

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