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Parom - Space tug

During the year 2005 RKK Energia changed the specifications of Kliper, by deleting the service module, and added the Parom block. Although Parom had officially been announced in 2004 RKK Energia has been working on this project since 2001. Parom was a cargo module which aimed at docking itself to the space station. It would be independently launched by a rocket Soyouz-2-3 (which is an improvement of Soyouz-2), Zenit-2 or Angara rocket. It was also thought to launch it from Kourou (with a Soyouz rocket) to increase the payload.


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Parom was an automatic cargo (unmanned) capable of delivering fret and fuel into the space station or into a docked spacecraft. He would have been the replacement of the Progress spacecraft (used since the 70s) with a superior fret capacity and advanced fonctionalities. It is of cylindrical shape with two docking ports (of Soyuz type) on both sides to dock itself to the station and\or a spacecraft. Inside there is a pressurized compartment in which the cosmonauts can enter and (un)load fret (food, experiments, various objects). Another area (around), not pressurized, stores the ergols to be transfered in the space station or the spacecraft tanks.

Parom is set up with attitude engines and with propulsion engines to change orbit, the parking orbit is 200 km. The propulsion engines were intended to move modules weighing up to 30 tons what is twice the mass of the heaviest station module sent by a Proton rocket.
The modular type of the Parom allowing it to make the interface between the station and the Kliper would have helped to make architecture modifications on Kliper in a easier way.

Parom could be launched before Kliper and wait on an parking orbit. After having docked to the Kliper it would help the spacecraft to join the orbital station or go to an higher orbit thanks to its main engine. Then at the end of the mission Parom would decrease the Kliper's orbit before executing the breaking impulse. Kliper would then undock from Parom to begin its descent whereas this last one would stay on its orbit to wait for another spacecraft.


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Caption:
1-Kliper; 2-Parom; 3-Orbital module; 4-Russian section of the ISS; 5-American section of the ISS

In 2006, according to Anatoly Perminov director of the Russian space agency, the first launch of the Parom would have take place in 2009.


Parom's mains characteristics (2006)

Characteristic Value
Maximum mass at launch, kg 6 800
Dry mass, kg 5 990
Dimentionals characteristics
Total length, m 6.55
Diameter, m 3.2
Pressurized volume, m³ 26
Autonomous flight time, days 180
Number of transitin cycles 60
Flight parameters
Altitude, km 200-400
Inclinaison, ° 51.6-73
Life time, years 15
Launch vehicle Soyouz 2-3