Shared June 23, 2020
There are many docking systems on the International Space Station, reflecting the fact that it's the product of multiple space programs which combined their space station plans into the ISS. The history of the program has lead to some design choices which seem to be strange, until you look at them in the context of the whole program history.
In particular, I often get asked about the pressurized mating adapters at the front of the space station and how the tunnel includes a bend rather than simply going straight through, and of course it's all because of historical choices.
Some further reading on the docking and berthing hardware used on the ISS
NASA Artemis Lunar Lander Selection Surprises Many (In a good way)
How A Gold Bullet Almost Destroyed A Space Shuttle
The Most Confusing Things About Spacecraft Orbits
Why The Juno Spacecraft is Afraid of the Dark
Starship updates with SN5 Pressure Test, SpaceX GPS III, Mars Perseverance Rover Launch Date Slips
Geostationary, Molniya, Tundra, Polar & Sun Synchronous Orbits Explained
What Does "Set SCE To AUX" Mean Anyway - Apollo 12's Lightning Strike Explained
Space Poop Challenge - Floaters Are Way Worse in Space
How Did The Apollo 11 Documentary Get Film Of The Upper Stage Ignition?
Venus Rover Concepts That Beat The Killer Atmosphere
Can An Astronaut Orbit The Space Station?
Space Shuttle RTLS Abort Challenge - Without The Manual
How Astronauts On The Space Station Watch TV & Movies
Kerbal Space Program - Your Physics Have No Power Over Me!
How SpaceX & NASA Keeps Astronauts Safe During Launch
Metallic Hydrogen - Most Powerful Rocket Fuel Yet?