October 23, 2021

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Russia discards Pirs docking port to clear way for new space station module

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For nearly 20 years, Russia’s Pirs docking compartment served as one of the primary ports for vehicles arriving and departing from the International Space Station. On Monday (July 26), though, it was the module’s turn to go to make way for a long-awaited, incoming upgrade.

The Pirs docking compartment undocked from the space station at 6:55 a.m. EDT (1055 GMT) and was slowly pulled away by the last Progress cargo spacecraft to dock to it. The departure, from the nadir, or Earth-facing side of the Zvezda service module on the station’s Russian segment, marked the first major component of the orbiting complex to be decommissioned and discarded.

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