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Six months after the arrival of Kvant 2, the Kristall module became the newest component of the Mir complex. Kristall possessed the same mass and diameter as Kvant 2 but was a little shorter at 11.9 m. In place of the Kvant 2 airlock chamber, Kristall was equipped with a new multiple docking adapter employing two APAS89 androgynous ports for mating with the Buran space shuttle and a new model of Soyuz TM.

The primary scientific payload was devoted to microgravity research. Kristall also carried the Priroda 5 high resolution camera and the Svet greenhouse for botanical research. The two solar arrays on Kristall were of a new design with a total 8.4 kW capacity, variable deployment positioning, and the ability to be removed and relocated to another part of the space station (References 87, 89-90).

By the end of 1990 the Mir space station's normal configuration consisted of six linked spacecraft: Mir, Kvant 1, Kvant 2, Kristall, a Soyuz TM, and a Progress M. Together they boasted a total mass of about 90 metric tons and a habitable volume of 270 m3. Further additions were installed during EVAs (Reference 108)..

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