A Closer Look at Our Docking Port

The cargo Dragon spacecraft set to launch this morning is carrying a 1,000-pound International Docking Adapter that will make it easier for Commercial Crew spacecraft to connect to the station. IDA-1, as the component is called, will be connected to the port on the end of the Harmony module on the space station. Equipped with modernized docking targets and sensors, the IDA, made by Boeing, will give the Boeing CST-100 and SpaceX Crew Dragon a place to dock. Many of the sensors and targets are set up so the spacecraft can steer safely to the station and dock automatically to the IDA. A second IDA will be sent into space later will be connected to another port on the station to provide a backup parking place for spacecraft. There’s a lot more to the IDA’s story, including the cooperation it has taken to make, test and launch. For those details, go to http://go.nasa.gov/1Ik5HjQIDA1photo.