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    ISS Missions 1998-2006[Old]

    ISS Elements: FGB - Functional Control Module ("Zarya")

    The Functional Cargo Block (FGB) was the first piece of the International Space Station (ISS) to be placed in orbit. The FGB was launched by a Proton rocket on 20 November 1998. This launch was termed FEL - First Element Launch and had the formal ISS program designation of ISS-1R. At the time of its launch it was given the name "Zarya" - Russian for "sunrise".

    The FGB's prime function was to provide the initial propulsion, power, guidance, and navigation control for the ISS as it was being assembled. The FGB was designed to operate as an autonomous spacecraft and to support Node 1 (attached a few weeks later) in a passive mode. Many of these functions were taken over by the Service Module when it was attached to the ISS in July 2000. The FGB now operates under the control of the Service Module providing power to the ISS and storing propellant. While the FGB does have a pressurized interior, it is mostly a tunnel surrounded by storage lockers connecting Node 1 (launched on STS-88 in 1998 and docked at the forward FGB port) with the Service Module (docked at the FGB's aft docking port).

    The FGB was originally scheduled for launch in November 1997. Due to various program delays its launch was slipped to early 1998. Additional slips moved the launch back further to November 1998. Originally designed to function in its autonomous, full capacity for only 6-8 months, the FGB ended up having to function as the prime propulsion and guidance capability for nearly two years as the Service Module's launch was delayed from April 1998 to July 2000. With the exception of some problems with its batteries, the FGB performed very well.

    The FGB was built by the Russian Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (KhSC) and was wholly paid for by the US via a subcontract with Boeing. Construction began in 1994 and the FGB was shipped to the Baikonur Cosmodrome for launch preparations in January 1998. Components for a back-up FGB were built under this contract for contingency purposes. Now that the FGB has met all of its contractual requirements, KhSC and Boeing are looking to market the FGB-2 as a commercial back-up propulsion capability for the ISS - possibly to replace 3 or more Progress tanker flights.

    Unlike the U.S., which tends to regularly develop and launch wholly new spacecraft designs, the FGB is the product of a series of incremental improvements upon a basic design whose origin can be traced back to the height of the Cold War and the race to the Moon. Specifically, the FGB evolved from the Soviet "TKS" resupply spacecraft, part of a military space station concept proposed (but never built) in the 1970's. Certain features of the FGB design were supposedly incorporated in a large payload called "Polyus" flown aboard an Energia super booster's inaugural flight in 1987. This design was then used in two modules docked to Mir's predecessor, Salyut 7 (Kosmos 1443 and 1686) in the 1980s. The design was then used as the basis for the Kvant and Kristall modules currently attached to Mir.

    The FGB is 12.6 meters (41.2 feet) long and 4.1 meters (13.5 feet wide) at its widest point and weighed 19,323 kilograms (42,600 pounds) at launch when fully fueled. It has an operational lifetime of at least 15 years i.e., late 2013.

    The side or radial docking ports on the FGB can accommodate Soyuz and Progress spacecraft. The original design of the FGB was modified to allow it to be refueled by a Progress docked to its nadir (earth facing) docking port. If the Interim Control Module (ICM) is to be used in the ISS program and docked to the FGB a new APAS docking system and Pressure Dome will need to be installed before the ICM can dock with the FGB.

    The FGB has 16 fuel tanks with a combined capacity of more than 5.4 metric tons (6 tons) of propellant. The FGB attitude control system contains 24 large steering jets and 12 small steering jets. Two large engines at the aft end of the FGB are used for reboosting the spacecraft and making major orbital changes. The FGB has two solar arrays 11 meters long and 3 meter wide. Using six nickel-cadmium batteries for storage these arrays can provide an average of 3 kilowatts of electrical power.


    FGB Operations Documents

  • Functional Cargo Block Inflight Maintenance Intravehicular Activity, Mission Operations Directorate, 5 May 1999 [English] [Russian]

    This document contains procedures for the maintenance and repair of systems within the FGB (Zarya) module. This document is 119 pages long and contains detailed schematics of the FGB's systems (with some terminology and labels in Russian).

  • Functional Cargo Block Systems Operations, Mission Operations Directorate, 1 October 1998 English: [Word 8.8 MB] [Acrobat 12.0 MB]; Russian [Acrobat 2.0 MB]

    This large document describes the various subsystems within the FGB and how they operate. Numerous schematics, diagrams, and flow charts are included.

  • International Space Station Maintenance & Repair Group (MRG) In-Flight Maintenance Book, Expedition 1 Flights, Mission Operations Directorate, Systems Division, December 21, 2000, JSC-48513-E1 [Acrobat 28.5 MB]

    This 771 page document covers a wide range of routine maintenace procedures on a variety of systems and structures aboard the ISS.

  • Inflight Maintenance - Intravehicular Activity - Installation/Deinstallation - Flight 2A.2B: SM/FGB.1, Mission Operations Directorate, 9 August 2000 [English - Acrobat 1.2 MB] [Russian - Acrobat 1.2 MB]

    According to this document's introduction: "this crew procedures book covers 2A.2B Inflight Maintenance Intravehicular Activity Installation/Deinstallation Tasks and contains information for the crew on the inflight maintenance and repair operations. The book contents and presentation format are intended for fully-trained crew members." This 58 page document contains detailed procedures, diagrams, and photographs describing the installation and activation of hardware within the Service Module and the FGB.


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