Encyclopedia Astronautica
Science and Applications Manned Space Platform



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SAMSP
This illustration from 1981 depicts the assembly of a large telecommunications antenna (right) at the Science & Applications Manned Space Platform.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
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Space Platform - TRW
Science and Applications Manned Space Platform
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
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SAMSP
SAMSP could gradually evolve into a manned space station by adding pressurized crew modules derived from Spacelab. McDonnell-Douglas illustration from 1981.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
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Space Platform-1981
Early 1980s Space Station Study (Rockwell). Two space station proposals by Rockwell International. The initial design would consist of only a few modules.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
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SAMSP TRW
SAMSP. The TRW platform could be transformed into a human tended microgravity laboratory by adding Spacelab pressurized modules. These contain sensitive experiments which are replaced on regular intervals by visiting Space Shuttles (bottom).
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
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SAMSP TRW
SAMSP. NASA/Marshall issued a number of Science & Applications Manned Space Platform contracts to McDonnell-Douglas and TRW in 1980. This TRW illustration from 1981 depicts a unmanned platform being serviced by a Space Shuttle.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
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SAMSP / HST
SAMSP and Hubble Space Telescope. This illustration shows three SAMSPs in different Earth orbits. One mission would be to service spacecraft such as the Hubble Space Telescope (bottom)
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
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SAMSP TRW
SAMSP. This unmanned TRW platform from 1981 carries three Spacelab unpressurised experiment pallets, including a space telescope. Two large solar panel "wings" generate power while the radiator on top radiates away excess heat produced by the experiments.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
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SAMSP
Space Platform - TRW. The unmanned TRW platform could be customized for different missions.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
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SAMSP 1981
SAMSP. This McDonnell-Douglas illustration from 1980 depicts the basic unmanned platform equipped with a small Spacelab telescope pallet. The platform would provide power, communications, thermal control and other services for standard Shuttle payload experiments -- it essentially served as a surrogate Shuttle payload bay.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
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SAMSP 1982
SAMSP. This TRW illustration from 1982 depicts two astronauts doing repairs outside the Science & Applications Manned Space Platform.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
American manned space station. Study 1980. While NASA/Johnson was studying the Space Operations Center concept, the Marshall Space Flight Center was lobbying for its own station -- the Science and Applications Manned Space Platform (SAMSP).

MSFC envisioned a series of cheap 'platforms' costing only $500 million that could be outfitted for different missions. One mission would be to service spacecraft such as the Hubble Space Telescope. The platform would provide power, communications, thermal control and other services for standard Shuttle payload experiments -- it essentially served as a surrogate Shuttle payload bay. SAMSP could gradually evolve into a manned space station by adding pressurized crew modules derived from Spacelab. Initially, SAMSP would have a crew of three to four astronauts.

NASA/Marshall issued a number of Science and Applications Manned Space Platform contracts to McDonnell-Douglas and TRW in 1980. A 1981 unmanned TRW platform design carried three Spacelab unpressurised experiment pallets, including a space telescope. Two large solar panel 'wings' generated power while the radiator dumped excess heat produced by the experiments. The unmanned TRW platform could be customized for different missions. The TRW platform could be transformed into a human-tended microgravity laboratory by adding Spacelab pressurized modules. These would contain sensitive experiments and be replaced at regular intervals by visiting Space Shuttles.

Article by Marcus Lindroos

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Associated Countries
See also
  • US Space Stations Wernher von Braun brought Noordung's rotating station design with him from Europe. This he popularized in the early 1950's in selling manned space flight to the American public. By the late 1950's von Braun's team favoured the spent-stage concept - which eventually flew as Skylab. By the mid-1960's, NASA was concentrating on modular, purpose-built, zero-G stations. These eventually flew as the International Space Station. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

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