Strela (crane)
The Strela cranes are four cargo cranes used to move cosmonauts and components around the exterior of the Soviet/Russian space station
Space station
A space station is a spacecraft capable of supporting a crew which is designed to remain in space for an extended period of time, and to which other spacecraft can dock. A space station is distinguished from other spacecraft used for human spaceflight by its lack of major propulsion or landing...

Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

and the Russian Orbital Segment
Russian Orbital Segment
The Russian Orbital Segment is the name given to the components of the International Space Station constructed in Russia and operated by the Russian Federal Space Agency...

 of the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

. Mir featured two cranes mounted to its core module
Mir Core Module
Mir , DOS-7, was the first module of the Soviet/Russian Mir space station complex, in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001. Generally referred to as either the core module or base block, the module was launched on 20 February 1986 on a Proton-K rocket from LC-200/39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome...

 (delivered by Progress spacecraft), and the ISS also possesses two cranes, mounted to Pirs (they were carried to the ISS on Integrated Cargo Carrier
Integrated cargo carrier
Integrated Cargo Carriers were unpressurized flat bed pallet and keel yoke assemblies carried in the Space Shuttle payload bay, but were never removed during flight. Note that External Stowage Platforms 1 thru 3 and ExPRESS Logistics Carriers 1 thru 4 were of similar construction but were intended...

s, the first on STS-96
STS-96 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station flown by Space Shuttle Discovery, and the first shuttle flight to dock with the International Space Station. The shuttle carried the Spacehab module in the payload, filled with cargo for station outfitting...

, the second on STS-101
-Mission parameters:* Mass:** Orbiter landing with payload: ** Payload: * Perigee: * Apogee: * Inclination: 51.6°* Period: 91 min-Space walks:* Voss and Williams – EVA 1...

). The cranes are structurally telescopic poles assembled in sections, which measure around 6 feet when collapsed but, when extended using a hand crank, measure 46 feet long. This means that the cranes on Mir could easily reach all of the main modules of the complex, and those attached to the ISS can be used to transfer objects the full length of the ROS, from Zvezda to Zarya
Zarya , also known as the Functional Cargo Block or FGB , was the first module of the International Space Station to be launched. The FGB provided electrical power, storage, propulsion, and guidance to the ISS during the initial stage of assembly...


The largest robotic arm on the ISS, Canadarm2 weighs 1,800 kilograms and is used to dock and manipulate spacecraft and modules on the USOS, and hold crew members and equipment during EVA's. The ROS does not require spacecraft or modules to be manipulated, as all spacecraft and modules dock automatically, and may be repositioned or discarded the same way. Each strela crane weighs 45kg and can perform all necessary tasks, with substantial weight savings, less complexity and less maintenance than the Canadarm2.

Note: An EVA planned for February, 2012 will see at least one of the STRELAs relocated to the docking compartment Poisk
Poisk may refer to:*Poisk , a Ukrainian IBM PC XT clone *Poisk , a component of the International Space Station...

. The move is required because "Pirs" will be detached soon after and deorbited to allow the MLM "Nauka" to dock to the "Pirs" current location in mid 2012.
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