A Russian docking compartment pulled up at the international space station, adding another module to the orbiting complex.
The 16-foot-long compartment hooked automatically onto the Russian side of the space station, two days after its launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakstan.
Named Pirs, Russian for Pier, the docking compartment is the sixth habitable module of the space station and the third to be launched by the Russian Space Agency.
Besides providing extra docking ports for space station Alpha, the new module will serve as a portal for astronauts and cosmonauts. It will be a backup for the U.S. air lock that was delivered by space shuttle Atlantis in July; astronauts exiting this compartment must wear NASA spacesuits.