MIM-2 Poisk module

By 2008, what was originally known as Docking Compartment-2, was put back on the list of the future modules of the Russian segment, but it was bearing a new name: Mini-Research Module-2, MRM-2, or MIM-2 in Russian. The 4,000-kilogram module was scheduled for launch in 2009, (as early as Aug. 12, 2009), as part of a specialized custom-built Progress cargo ship, designated M-SO2 (No. 302). The total mass of the Progress M/MIM-2 stack is 7,150 kilograms. The MIM-2 would be docked to the zenith (upper) docking port of the Zvezda service module.

Like its older twin -- Docking Compartment-1 -- MIM-2 would feature a passive docking port for the Soyuz and Progress ships on its outer end and provide 12.5 cubic meters of internal volume. It could also serve as an airlock for spacewalking cosmonauts. On its forward end, MIM-2 would carry an active hybrid port SSVP-M G8000, enabling docking with passive hybrid ports of the service module.

However, unlike the DC-1, the new module would sport power-supply outlets and data-transmission interfaces for two external scientific payloads to be developed by the Russian Academy of Sciences, thus justifying its name as a research module. On its way to the station, MIM-2 was to carry a ton of cargo.

In the meantime, the Docking Compartment 1 would remain on the nadir (Earth-facing) docking port of the Zvezda service module until the arrival of the Multipurpose Laboratory Module, MLM, then scheduled for launch in 2011. A Progress cargo ship would be used to haul away and deorbit the Docking Compartment 1 at the end of its mission.

Russians jump-start station construction

Published: 2009 Nov. 9; updated: 2009 Nov. 10; 2010 Jan. 3

After almost a decade-long hiatus, Russia resumed the construction of her share in the International Space Station with the launch of a new module. The Soyuz-U rocket carrying Poisk ("Quest") Mini-Research Module-2, or MIM-2 in the Russian abbreviation, lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as scheduled on Nov. 10, 2009, at 17:22 Moscow Time. According to reports from Russian mission control, the spacecraft reached its intended orbit successfully.

The spacecraft is essentially a twin of the previous Russian module, the Pirs Docking Compartment added to the outpost in September 2001. In the intervening years, economic problems kept further Russian pieces of the station on the ground and forced a significant scale down of the Russian segment in comparison to its originally conceived architecture.

The MIM-2 module was only first of three long-term components, which Russia planned to add to the station in the following three years. At the time, another module, Mini-Research Module-1 or MIM-1, was undergoing final checkups at RKK Energia in Korolev, near Moscow, Russia’s prime contractor in the manned spacecraft. In December 2009, MIM-1 was shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida, from where it would be launched to the station in the cargo bay of NASA Space Shuttle in May 2010. The MIM-1 spacecraft was recycled from the habitation section of the aborted science and power-supply platform, NEP, which had never been completed due to lack of cash.

MIM-2 was scheduled to dock to the International Space Station, ISS, on Nov. 12, 2009, at 18:43:30 Moscow Time. (The actual docking took place at 18:41 Moscow Time). The crew was scheduled to enter the module a day later, and on Dec. 8, 2009, the Progress propulsion module of the MIM-2 module was to be discarded.

To prepare the MIM-2 for receiving Soyuz and Progress transport ship, cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Maksim Suraev were scheduled to conduct a spacewalk out of the Pirs docking compartment on Jan. 14, 2010. They were to deploy AR-VKA and 2AR-VKA antennas and a docking target and plug the new module's Kurs antennas into the Kurs docking system circuitry instead of antennas on the zenith port of the Zvezda service module, which would no longer be need after the docking of the MIM-2 to that port. Following the spacewalk, on January 20, 2010, the Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft would be re-docked to the zenith-facing port of the MIM-2 module.

Progress undocking

A propulsion section of the Progress spacecraft, which delivered MIM-2 to the station was undocked from the module on Dec. 8, 2009, at 03:16 Moscow Time (00:16 GMT. It was Dec. 7, 6:16 p.m. in Houston). The module was deorbited four hours later, with the reentry burn initiated at 07:48:30 Moscow Time (04:48:30 GMT).


Page author: Anatoly Zak; Last update: March 1, 2019

Page editor: Alain Chabot; Last edit: October 20, 2008

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MIM-2 launch

The Soyuz-U rocket carrying the MIM-2 Poisk module lifts off on Nov. 10, 2009. Credit: TsENKI

MIM-2 approach

MIM-2 approaches ISS on Nov. 12, 2009. Credit: NASA


The MIM-2 module as seen by the crew of ISS on Nov. 21, 2009, days after its docking to the zenith-facing port of the Zvezda service module. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA

PAO undock

Unlike poor quality images from Docking Compartment-1 mission in 2001, a departing propulsion section of the MIM-2 module was photographed at high resolution on Dec. 8, 2009. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA


A Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, a member of Expedition 31 on the ISS, poses inside the Pirs Docking Compartment on May 12, 2012. Credit: NASA