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Russia launches Pirs space station module
Posted: Sat, Sep 15, 2001, 11:11 AM ET (1511 GMT)
Pirs docking module illustration (NASA) A Russian Soyuz booster successfully launched a new docking module for the International Space Station Friday evening. The Soyuz lifted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan at 7:35 pm EDT (2335 GMT) Friday and placed into orbit a modified Progress spacecraft, M-CO1. The primary payload of M-CO1 is the Piers (Russian for "pier") docking module, which will be attached to the nadir docking port on the Zvezda service module. Piers will provide an additional docking port for Soyuz and Progress spacecraft as well as an airlock for staging EVAs from the Russian segment of the station. Three EVAs are planned for October by the Expedition Three crew to electrically mate the module to the station and attach additional equipment to its exterior. The Progress is also carrying additional cargo, including scientific equipment and maintenance supplies. The module is scheduled to dock with the station at 9:06 pm EDT Sunday (0106 GMT Monday).
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