RESEARCH PAPERS: Papers on Aerospace Industry: Space Station Technology

Planning for a Space Station

[+] Author and Article Information
M. B. Nolan, E. B. Pritchard

Space Station Task Force, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C.

J. Eng. Ind 107(1), 7-16 (Feb 01, 1985) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3185970 History: Received August 03, 1983; Online July 30, 2009


The Space Shuttle, as the keystone of the United States Space Program, is providing routine and efficient access to and return from low Earth orbit. The next major space initiative must build on and complement these existing space systems while significantly enhancing the national capabilities for routine and efficient operations in space. Past and current studies indicate that a permanent research and operations base in low Earth orbit is the correct next step for NASA to pursue. The operations and research base, as currently perceived, is a combination of manned and unmanned facilities located in low Earth orbit and interconnected by teleoperated transportation stages. A Space Station thus provides new and unique operational and research opportunities that complement the capabilities of the Space Shuttle principally by removing the constraint of time from future mission planning. The current assessment of requirements in the areas of science and applications, commercial utilization, technology development, and national security are discussed. The paper concludes with a discussion of the future plans within the Space Station Program.

Copyright © 1985 by ASME
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