Kosmos 1686: expanding Salyut 7

Salyut 7 / Kosmos 1686The unmanned Kosmos 1686 module, launched by the Soviet Union in September, successfully completes an automated docking with space station Salyut 7. This new module is a permanent addition to the final Salyut station, offering more habitable space for work and storage aboard the aging station. Kosmos 1686 arrives with nearly 10,000 pounds of supplies and consumables, and serves as a case study to help engineers plan the upcoming Mir space station, which is designed from the outset to consist of several add-on modules.