Common Berthing Mechanism

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Common berthing mechanism schematic diagram
An HTV being deberthed from an active CBM

The Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) is a berthing mechanism primarily used to connect pressurized elements within the US Orbital Segment of the International Space Station. It roughly corresponds to the docking ports that are used to join such elements within the Russian Orbital Segment. It was developed by Boeing at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama under contract NAS15-10000 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).[1]

The CBM system is a combination of structural, mechanical and control components that perform the capture, closure, and passive structural connection between two pressurized modules. The total CBM system is composed of two distinct sets of equipment: the active and passive halves. The active half [ACBM] supports the mechanical and control elements which effect the actual capture and closure functions of the berthing operations. The passive half [PCBM] contains the inert elements required to complete the berthing and closure action. It also contains the seals effecting pressurized capability at the Module/Module interface.[2]

The ACBM was developed in response to specification S683-29902 (CAGE 3A768). The PCBM was developed under specification S683-28943 (CAGE 3A768). According to the specifications, the CBM provides a Module/Module clear passage diameter of 50"[3], which is large enough to accommodate a standard hatch and allow International Standard Payload Racks to be passed between modules. Using such racks, payloads can be pre-configured and transported to the station aboard a variety of logistics modules. Once the hatches have been opened and the Module/Module vestibule configured, electrical, data, and fluid lines can be manually connected by the crew in a "shirt-sleeve" environment.

In addition to Module/Module attachment locations, the CBM is also used as a structural/mechanical/utility interface (e.g., for the base of the Z1 truss) and for docking adapters at various locations.

Operation[edit]

On radial ports, the 4 covers ('petals') on the ACBM open to expose the 4 sets of latches and alignment guides. For any ACBM location, the PCBM is aligned with ACBM using a tele-robotic device (of which several varieties exist). Latches engage and retract. When fully latched, 16 bolts are driven (under remote control) from the active side into the passive side. Bolts are tightened in multiple stages, allowing the temperatures to equalise as necessary. Bolt loads are sensed by a load cell within each of the 16 units.

Uses on the ISS[edit]

Uses of the CBM (as of late 2018) are tabulated below.

PCBM Element Time Frame On-orbit CBM Berth Permanent Delivery Logistics ACBM Element Orientation During Berth Notes Sources
PMA-1 09/1998 No Yes No Node 1 Aft Factory Mate NP-2015-05-022-JSC
PMA-2 09/1998 No Yes No Node 1 Forward Factory Mate NP-2015-05-022-JSC
FGB Zarya 11/1998 No Yes No N/A N/A First Launch NP-2015-05-022-JSC
Node 1 (Unity) 12/1998 No Yes No N/A N/A APAS Mate NP-2015-05-022-JSC
Service Module 07/2000 No Yes No N/A N/A APAS Mate NP-2015-05-022-JSC
Z1 10/2000 Yes Yes No Node 1 Zenith NP-2015-05-022-JSC
PMA-3 10/2000 Yes Yes No Node 1 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC
PMA-2 02/2001 Yes No No US Lab Forward NP-2015-05-022-JSC
U.S. Lab (Destiny) 02/2001 Yes Yes No Node 1 Forward NP-2015-05-022-JSC
PMA-3 03/2001 Yes No No Node 1 Port NP-2015-05-022-JSC
MPLM (STS-102) 03/2001 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC
MPLM (STS-100) 04/2001 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC
Airlock (Quest) 06/2001 Yes Yes No Node 1 Starboard NP-2015-05-022-JSC
MPLM (STS-105) 08/2001 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC
Russian Docking Compartment & Airlock 09/2001 No Yes No N/A N/A APAS Mate NP-2015-05-022-JSC
MPLM (STS-108) 12/2001 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC
MPLM (STS-111) 06/2002 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC
MPLM (STS-114) 07/2005 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC
MPLM (STS-121) 06/2006 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC
PMA-3 08/2007 Yes No No Node 1 Nadir Intermittent faults while unbolting NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition15/pma3move.html
Node 2 (Harmony) 10/2007 Yes Yes No Node 1 Port http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts120/mission_overview.html
PMA-2 11/2007 Yes No No Node 2 Starboard NP-2015-05-022-JSC
Node 2 (Harmony) + PMA-2 11/2007 Yes No No US Lab Forward NP-2015-05-022-JSC
European Research Laboratory (Columbus) 02/2008 Yes Yes No Node 2 Starboard NP-2015-05-022-JSC
ELM-PS 03/2008 Yes Yes No Node 2 Zenith NP-2015-05-022-JSC
Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) 05/2008 Yes Yes No Node 2 Port NP-2015-05-022-JSC
ELM-PS 05/2008 Yes Yes No JEM Zenith NP-2015-05-022-JSC
MPLM (STS-126) 11/2008 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2008/11/mplm-attached-et-129-extremely-clean/
PMA-3 08/2009 Yes No No Node 1 Port NP-2015-05-022-JSC
MPLM (STS-128) 08/2009 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir Bolt 4-1, Node 2 Nadir: high torque on berth, jammed on deberth (replaced IVA) NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/09/sts-128-high-praise-for-iss-visit-as-discovery-is-checked-out-for-entry/
ISS-HTV1 09/2009 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://spaceflightnow.com/h2b/htv1/091101reentry
MRM-2 11/2009 No Yes No N/A N/A APAS Mate NP-2015-05-022-JSC
PMA-3 01/2010 Yes No No Node 2 Zenith NP-2015-05-022-JSC
Node 3 (Tranquility) + Cupola (STS-130) 02/2010 Yes Yes No Node 1 Port Multiple bolt jams during Cupola deberth NP-2015-05-022-JSC; NASA JSC: The International Space Station – Operating an Outpost in the New Frontier (Ch. 4) (http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/iss-operating_an_outpost-tagged.pdf )
PMA-3 02/2010 Yes No No Node 3 Port NP-2015-05-022-JSC
Cupola 02/2010 Yes Yes No Node 3 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC
MPLM (STS-131) 04/2010 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts131/100407fd4/index3.html
MRM-1 05/2010 No Yes No N/A N/A APAS Mate NP-2015-05-022-JSC
ISS-HTV2 01/2011 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://spaceflightnow.com/h2b/htv2/110329entry/
PMM 02/2011 Yes Yes No Node 1 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC
MPLM (STS-135) 07/2011 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC
ISS-SpX-D 05/2012 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/may/HQ_12-172_SpaceX_Dragon_Berth.html
ISS-HTV3 06/2012 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir Loss of Comms on Node 2 Nadir CBM NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition32/htv3_berth.html; http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/05/spacexs-dragon-historic-attempt-berth-with-iss
ISS-SpX-1 10/2012 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/004/121010arrival/
ISS-SpX-2 03/2013 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/729030main_spacex_2_cargo_manifest.pdf
ISS-HTV4 08/2013 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://spaceflightnow.com/h2b/htv4/130809arrival/#.UgVTo8u9KK0
ISS-Orb-D1 09/2013 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://spaceflightnow.com/antares/cots1/launchmanifest.html
ISS-Orb-1 01/2014 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/orbital.html
ISS-SpX-3 04/2014 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://www.nasa.gov/content/dragon-delivers-science-station-supplies
ISS-Orb-2 07/2014 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Orb2_PRESS_KIT.pdf
ISS-SpX-4 09/2014 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC: http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/september/nasa-cargo-launches-to-space-station-aboard-spacex-resupply-mission-0
ISS-SpX-5 01/2015 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2015/01/12/dragon-attached-to-harmony-module/; http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2015/01/09/dragon-readied-for-launch-european-ship-prepped-for-departure/
ISS-SpX-6 04/2015 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir NP-2015-05-022-JSC; : http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2015/04/17/dragon-attached-to-stations-harmony-module/
HTV-5 08/2015 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2015/08/24/japans-cargo-ship-installed-on-station/
OA-4 12/2015 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2015/12/09/cygnus-attached-to-station-ready-for-business/
OA-6 03/2016 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/03/26/cygnus-installed-to-stations-unity-module/
ISS-SpX-8 04/2016 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/04/10/spacex-dragon-mated-to-harmony/
BEAM 04/2016 Yes Yes No Node 3 Aft http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/04/16/beam-successfully-installed-to-the-international-space-station/; http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/2016-march-beam-factsheet-508.pdf
ISS-SpX-9 07/2016 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/07/20/dragon-attached-to-stations-harmony-module-2/
OA-5 10/2016 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/10/23/cygnus-attached-to-stations-unity-module/
HTV-6 12/2016 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/12/13/japans-white-stork-spacecraft-installed-on-station/
ISS-SpX-10 02/2017 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2017/02/23/dragon-attached-to-stations-harmony-module-3/
PMA-3 03/2017 Yes No No Node 2 Zenith NP-2015-05-022-JSC
OA-7 04/2017 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2017/04/22/cygnus-bolted-to-station-for-three-months/
ISS-SpX-11 06/2017 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2017/06/05/dragon-attached-to-station-for-cargo-transfers/; http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/spacex_crs-11_mission_overview.pdf
ISS-SpX-12 08/2017 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2017/08/16/dragon-installed-to-station-for-month-of-cargo-swaps/
OA-8E 11/2017 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2017/11/14/robotic-arm-reaches-out-and-grapples-cygnus/; http://www.nasa.gov/feature/wallops/2017/nasa-tv-coverage-set-for-antares-launch-to-the-international-space-station
ISS-SpX-13 12/2017 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2017/12/17/dragon-attached-to-station-for-month-of-cargo-transfers/
ISS-SpX-14 04/2018 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2018/04/04/dragon-bolted-to-stations-harmony-module/
OA-9E 05/2018 Yes No Yes Node 1 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2018/05/24/robotics-controllers-install-cygnus-resupply-ship-on-station/
ISS-SpX-15 06/2018 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2018/07/02/dragon-capture-confirmed-over-canada/; http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2018/07/02/dragon-now-installed-to-station-for-month-long-stay/
HTV-7 09/2018 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2018/09/27/japans-kounotori-spaceship-attached-to-station/
ISS-SpX-16 12/2018 Yes No Yes Node 2 Nadir https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2018/12/08/dragon-attached-to-station-returns-to-earth-in-january/

Table Notes:

(1) Timeframes for the factory mates of PMA-1 and PMA-2 to Node 1 are approximate.

(2) A few major non-CBM matings are included here for context.

(3) NP-2015-05-022-JSC: "Reference Guide to the International Space Station", NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (2015). Retrieved from http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/np-2015-05-022-jsc-iss-guide-2015-update-111015-508c.pdf

(4) “The International Space Station – Operating an Outpost in the New Frontier”, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX (2018). Retrieved from http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/iss-operating_an_outpost-tagged.pdf

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Honeywell (2001). "The common berthing mechanism (CBM) for International Space Station" (PDF). (923 KiB)
  2. ^ CAGE 3A768: T683-13850-3, "Common Berthing Mechanism Assembly Qualification Test Report (Revision New)" (8 October 1998)
  3. ^ CAGE 3A768: S683-28943C: "Passive Common Berthing Mechanism Critical Item Development Specification" (21 July 1995).

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.