TORU system is a manual docking system of Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft that serves as a backup to the automatic Kurs
Kurs (docking system)
Kurs is a radio telemetry system used by the Soviet and later Russian space program.Kurs was developed by the Research Institute of Precision Instruments before 1985 and manufactured by the Kiev Radio Factory .- History :...
system http://www.hightechscience.org/toru.htm. It was used on the Mir
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...
The Salyut program was the first space station program undertaken by the Soviet Union, which consisted of a series of nine space stations launched over a period of eleven years from 1971 to 1982...
and is currently used on 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...
. The TORU system became known to the public in 1997 when it was used during the manual approach of Progress M-34 to Mir that ended up with a dangerous collision. It was an approach of a previously used Progress spacecraft with the purpose of research work on further improvement of TORU.
TORU has two joysticks which can be used to manually fly the ship.The left joystick is used to control the movement of the ship and the right joystick is used to control its orientation. The system also includes a camera that is mounted on the docking spacecraft and provides visual feedback when the spacecraft is remotely controlled from the station to that it is docking. TORU also transfers sounds from the spacecraft that may provide indirect information about the docking process http://www.russianspaceweb.com/progressm58.html.
While ships are sufficiently close when docking to make signal travel delay
Speed of light
The speed of light in vacuum, usually denoted by c, is a physical constant important in many areas of physics. Its value is 299,792,458 metres per second, a figure that is exact since the length of the metre is defined from this constant and the international standard for time...
insignificant, cosmonauts claim that TORU has a certain delay when operating the ship from the space station remotely http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/crew/exp7/luletters/lu_letter4.html. Some radio amateurs think they have observed TORU docking signals http://www.svengrahn.pp.se/trackind/TORU/Toru.html.