NASA has told the US Congress that the $210 million, US Naval Laboratory Interim Control Module (ICM) destined for the International Space Station will be ready to fly to the station in December, should the launch of Russia's Zvezda service module fail or the module does not dock with the station as planned. Zvezda's launch is planned for July. An artist's impression (right) shows the 13,600kg (29,950lb) ICM docked to the Russian Zarya module. The US Unity Node 1 module is attached to other end of Zarya. Even if the Zvezda module succeeds, NASA plans to launch the ICM in 2001. The ICM, which carries 5,000kg of propellant to help maintain the ISS orbit, is being built near Washington.


Source: Flight International