Interim Control Module
In 1997 NASA requested that
NRL study the feasibility of adapting an existing, heritage spaceflight system to
provide low-cost, contingency propulsion operations for the International Space Station (ISS).
After determining that the
system could be adapted in time to meet NASA's schedule requirements, NRL was granted
authority to proceed with the Interim Control Module (ICM). From its inception ICM
was a contingency option for attitude control and reboost of the ISS that would allow
NASA to preserve the on-orbit construction schedule in case of delays in the launch
of the Russian Service Module.
ICM was to launch on board
the Space Shuttle, deploy from the Shuttle's cargo bay, and mate with the ISS at
the Russian Control Module (called Zarya).
Once on orbit ICM would provide sufficient fuel for 1 to 3 years operation.
ICM is based on a satellite
dispenser designed and built by NRL. Although significant modifications were required,
ICM met all requirements for its ISS mission.
ICM is currently
in a caretaker status at NRL's Payload
in Washington, D.C., and is being preserved in readiness in case
it is needed for future ISS missions. NRL is studying alternative
mission options for ICM.