Encyclopedia Astronautica
Space station


Category of spacecraft.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • Chinese Space Station In 2009-2011 Chinese authorities announced firm plans to assemble a 60 metric ton, three-module space station by 2010. More...
  • Noordung Slovenian manned space station. Study 1928. Hermann Noordung (pseudonym for Capt. Potocnik of the Austrian Imperial Army) expanded the ideas of Hermann Oberth on space flight in a detailed description of an orbiting space observatory. More...
  • Von Braun Station American manned space station. Study 1945. In the first 1946 summary of his work during World War II, Wernher von Braun prophesied the construction of space stations in orbit. More...
  • BIS Station British manned space station. Study 1948. H. E. Ross proposed a manned satellite station in Earth orbit that would serve as an astronomical and zero-gravity and vacuum research laboratory. More...
  • Aussenstation German manned space station. Study 1951. H. H. Koelle's Aussenstation was a large circular structure consisting of 36 separate 5-m spheres arranged around a central hub, the whole structure rotating to provide an artificial gravity environment. More...
  • Ehricke 4-man orbital station American manned space station. Study 1954. In 1954 Ehricke postulated a four-man design that might serve a number of different purposes, depending upon altitude and orbital inclination. More...
  • Outpost American manned space station. Study 1958. In 1958, the year after Sputnik 1, Krafft Ehricke, then with General Dynamics' Convair Division, designed a four-man space station known as Outpost. More...
  • Ideal Home Station American manned space station. Study 1959. Designed by Douglas, the Space Vehicle was represented by a full-scale model at the Ideal Home Show in London in 1962. It had a length of 19 m and was 5.2 m in diameter. More...
  • OS Russian manned space station. Study 1960. In 1960 Korolev proposed a military orbital station (OS), with a crew of 3 to 5, orbiting at 350 to 400 km altitude. More...
  • TKS Heavy Space Station Russian manned space station. Study 1961. The TKS (Heavy Space Station, also known as TOSZ - Heavy Orbital Station of the Earth) was Korolev's first 1961 project for a large N1-launched military space station. More...
  • Apollo A American manned space station. Study 1961. Apollo A was a lighter-weight July 1961 version of the Apollo spacecraft. More...
  • Hope Station American manned space station. Study 1961. Douglas space station concept of the early 1960's using a spent Saturn S-IV stage and Gemini spacecraft as crew shuttles. More...
  • OS-1962 Russian manned space station. Study 1962. On 10 March 1962 Korolev approved the technical project "Complex docking of spacecraft in earth orbit - Soyuz". This contained the original Soyuz L1 circumlunar design. More...
  • OP Russian manned space station. Study 1962. Korolev's next attempt to win military support for development of the N-I was his fantastic 'Orbitalniy Poyas' (OP -Orbital Belt) scheme of 20 April 1962. More...
  • MORL American manned space station. Study 1962. In June 1964 Boeing and Douglas received Phase I contracts for Manned Orbital Research Laboratory station designs. The recommended concept was a 13. More...
  • Orbital Workshop American manned space station. Study 1965. The Orbital Workshop (OWS) was a 1960's NASA program to create an embryonic space station in orbit using the spent S-IVB rocket stage of a Saturn IB. More...
  • USAF Recommended Station American manned space station. Study 1962. During 1962 NASA Centers, the Air Force, and many of the major aerospace contractors were developing possible space station concepts and studying their potential uses. More...
  • LORL American manned space station. Study 1962. Large Orbiting Research Laboratory was a term applied to a number of NASA and USAF designs of the 1960's intended to succeed MORL. Typically these were rotating stations orbited in a single Saturn V launch. More...
  • Lockheed 1963 Space Station American manned space station. Study 1963. Lockheed made an unsolicited proposal to NASA in 1963 for an ambitious space station project. The elements would be launched by Saturn I, as would the 'Astrocommuter' shuttle. More...
  • Self-Deploying Space Station American manned space station. Study 1963. The first space station designs using the Saturn V launch vehicle involved spinning stations, providing artificial G for the crew. More...
  • Almaz APOS Russian manned space station. Cancelled 1966. The initial Almaz program planned in 1965 consisted of two phases. More...
  • Saturn II Stage Wet Workshop American manned space station. Study 1964. Wernher von Braun made a rough sketch of a space station based on fitting out of an expended Saturn II stage in orbit on 24 November 1964. More...
  • Apollo LM Lab American manned space station. Study 1965. Use of the Apollo LM as an earth-orbiting laboratory was proposed for Apollo Applications Program missions. More...
  • Apollo ATM American manned space station. Study 1966. The Apollo Telescope Mount began as a solar telescope built into the spaceframe of an Apollo lunar module. More...
  • Apollo LMSS American manned space station. Cancelled 1967. Under the Apollo Applications Program NASA began hardware and software procurement, development, and testing for a Lunar Mapping and Survey System. The system would be mounted in an Apollo CSM. More...
  • MOL American manned space station. Cancelled 1969. MOL (Manned Orbiting Laboratory) was the US Air Force's manned space project after Dynasoar was cancelled, until it in turn was cancelled in 1969. The earth orbit station used a helium-oxygen atmosphere. More...
  • OS-1 (1969) Russian manned space station. Study 1969. By 1969 the giant OS-1 space station had evolved to this configuration. More...
  • Soyuz OB-VI Russian manned space station. Cancelled 1970. In December 1967 OKB-1 chief designer Mishin managed to have Kozlov's Soyuz VI project killed. In its place he proposed to build a manned military station based on his own Soyuz 7K-OK design. More...
  • Apollo 120 in Telescope American manned space station. Study 1968. Concept for use of a Saturn V-launched Apollo CSM with an enormous 10 m diameter space laboratory equipped with a 3 m diameter astronomical telescope. More...
  • MKBS Russian manned space station. Cancelled 1974. The culmination of ten years of designs for N1-launched space stations, the MKBS would be cancelled together with the N1. More...
  • Space Base American manned space station. Study 1970. Growth of Space Station into a 50 man Space Base was a required capability in the Phase B NASA Space Station studies of 1969-1970. More...
  • S-IVB Advanced Station American manned space station. Study 1970. Follow-on to Skylab proposed by Douglas. The station would still use the S-IVB stage as the basis, but would be much more extensively outfitted for larger crews. More...
  • Salyut 1 Russian manned space station. 2 launches, 1971.04.19 (Salyut 1) and 1972.07.29 (Zarya s/n 122). Salyut 1 was the first DOS long duration orbital station. More...
  • Almaz OPS-2 Russian manned space station. Cancelled 1979. The initial Almaz military space station program planned in 1965 consisted of two phases. More...
  • Modularised Space Station American manned space station. Study 1972. Space station design of 1972 using modules sized for transport in the Space Shuttle payload bay. could be carried inside the Shuttle orbiter payload bay. More...
  • Almaz Russian manned space station. 3 launches, 1973.04.03 (Salyut 2) to 1976.06.22 (Salyut 5). Chelomei's Almaz space station was designed to conduct orbital research into the usefulness of manned observation of the earth. More...
  • Almaz OPS Russian manned space station. 3 launches, 1973.04.03 (Salyut 2) to 1976.06.22 (Salyut 5). Vladimir Chelomei's Almaz OPS was the only manned military space station ever actually flown. More...
  • Salyut 4 Russian manned space station. 2 launches, 1973.05.11 (Cosmos 557) to 1974.12.26 (Salyut 4). Four of the initial DOS-1 versions of a civilian Soviet space station were built using converted Almaz military stations. More...
  • Skylab American manned space station. One launch, 1973.05.14. First US space station. The project began life as the Orbital Workshop- outfitting of an S-IVB stage with a docking adapter with equipment launched by several subsequent S-1B launches. More...
  • Manned Orbiting Facility American manned space station. Study 1974. NASA carried out a number of space station studies while the Shuttle was being developed in the mid-1970s. More...
  • Mir-2 Russian manned space station. Study 1989. The Mir-2 space station was originally authorized in the February 1976 resolution setting forth plans for development of third generation Soviet space systems. More...
  • OPS + TKS Russian manned space station. Cancelled 1976. Designation give to combined TKS+OPS Almaz station. More...
  • Salyut 6 Russian manned space station. One launch, 1977.09.29. The Salyut 6 space station was the most successful of the DOS series prior to Mir. It was aloft for four years and ten months, completing 27,785 orbits of the earth. More...
  • NPG Russian manned space station. Cancelled 1986. A later version of the 37K design for military experiments, the NPG Retained Payload, would be mounted in the payload bay of Buran and connected to the orbiter's cockpit area by an access tunnel. More...
  • 37K-Mir Russian manned space station. Cancelled 1983. The basic 37K design consisted of a 4.2 m diameter pressurized cylinder with a docking port at the forward end. It was not equipped with its own propulsion system. More...
  • 37KS Russian manned space station module. Cancelled 1983. Would have been launched by Proton and delivered and docked to the Mir station by a new lighter weight FGO tug. More...
  • LO Russian manned space station. Study 1984. A later version of the 37K design for civilian experiments, the LO Laboratory Compartment, would be retained in the payload bay of Buran and connected to the orbiter's cockpit area by an access tunnel. More...
  • Space Operations Center American manned space station. Study 1979. The Space Operations Center was proposed by NASA's Johnson Spaceflight Center in 1979. More...
  • Science and Applications Manned Space Platform 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). More...
  • STS External Tank Station American manned space station. Study 1980. NASA studied several concepts in the 1980's using the 'wet workshop' approach to the capacious External Tank carried into orbit with every shuttle flight. More...
  • Salyut 7 Russian manned space station. One launch, 1982.04.19. Salyut 7 was the back-up article for Salyut 6 and very similar in equipment and capabilities. More...
  • Space Station Designs - 1982 American manned space station. Study 1982. NASA regarded a permanently manned space station as the next 'logical step' in manned spaceflight after the Space Shuttle entered service in April 1981. More...
  • Columbus Space Station European manned space station. Study 1984. The European Space Agency Columbus module began as an independent European space station but would up as an unflown module of the International Space Station. More...
  • Polar Platform American manned space station. Study 1984. In order to increase the Space Station's and Space Shuttle's appeal, NASA tried to involve as many users as possible. More...
  • Space Station 1984 American manned space station. Design as of 1984. President Reagan finally approved a space station project for NASA in January 1984. More...
  • International Space Station American manned space station. Development from 1994. Assembled in orbit from 1998, with completion expected 2010. In 1987-1993 the Russians successfully assembled and operated the 124-metric ton Mir station. More...
  • Dual Keel Space Station - 1985 American manned space station. Study 1985. NASA radically changed its Space Station baseline design in October 1985 following frequent complaints from users and astronauts. More...
  • Mir Modules-FGB Russian manned space station. Study 1985. Space station modules derived from the Chelomei TKS ferry. See entries for Kvant-2, Priroda, Spektr, and Kristal for details on each. More...
  • Mir Russian manned space station. One launch, 1986.02.20. Improved model of the Salyut DOS-17K space station with one aft docking port and five ports in a spherical compartment at the forward end of the station. More...
  • Columbus Man-Tended Free Flyer - MTFF European manned space station. Study 1986. In April 1986, Italy's Aeritalia finally proposed that the European Space Agency build a second free-flying pressurized module to be used with the Space Station. More...
  • ESA Polar Platform European manned space station. Study 1986. Britain initially expressed strong interest in developing an unmanned Polar Platform for Earth observation as part of the European Columbus package. In 1986 the platform was scheduled for a 1995 launch. More...
  • Mir complex Russian manned space station. Assembled 1986 to 1996. Designation given to the entire Mir space station. More...
  • Kvant Russian manned space station. One launch, 1987.03.31 (Kvant 1). The Kvant spacecraft represented the first use of a new kind of Soviet space station module, designated 37K. More...
  • 37KB Russian manned space station module. One launch, 1988.11.15. Carried in the payload bay of the Buran space shuttle. They could remain attached to the bay or (modified to the 37KBI configuration) be docked to the Mir-2 station. More...
  • Mir-2 KB Salyut Russian manned space station. Cancelled 1988. Alternative design for the Mir-2 space station by KB Salyut. If Polyus had successfully made it to orbit, it might have been the core for such a station. More...
  • Space Station Freedom American manned space station. Design as of 1988. NASA's first detailed cost assessment for the US space station caused a political uproar in Congress, where many politicians had started to express doubt about the project. More...
  • Kvant-2 Russian manned space station. One launch, 1989.11.26, Kvant 2. Kvant-2 was a utility module launched to the Mir station. It provided an airlock, additional electric power, and additional gyrodynes for orienting the station. More...
  • Kristall Russian manned space station. One launch, 1990.05.31. Kristal was a dedicated zero-gravity materials and biological science research module for the Mir space station, launched in January 1990 More...
  • British Aerospace Space Station European manned space station. Study 1990. British Aerospace Ltd. (BAe) investigated alternate European space station designs for the European Space Agency. More...
  • Space Station Fred American manned space station. Design as of 1991. Following the collapse of the Space Station Freedom project, NASA unveiled its new Space Station design in March 1991. More...
  • ESA MTFF-Derived Space Station European manned space station. Study 1987. Back in the heady days of 1987, Europe was making plans to build an autonomous space station derived from the Columbus Man-Tended Free-Flying (MTFF) platform as the next logical step after Space Station Freedom. More...
  • ISS Columbus Orbiting Facility European manned space station. Launched 2008.02.07. In October 1993, ESA decided to further slash its overall budget by a combined $4.8 billion in 1994-2000. The Columbus space station module survived, but in a reduced form. More...
  • Project 921-2 Chinese manned space station. Study 2007. Phase 2 of China's Project 921 was to culminate in orbiting of an 8-metric ton man-tended mini-space station. More...
  • Space Station Options 1993 American manned space station. Study 1993. Following the collapse of Space Station Fred, NASA quickly formed a Space Station redesign team which identified three major redesign options in April 1993.... More...
  • Spektr Russian manned space station. One launch, 1995.05.20. Spektr was a module of the Mir space station. It began life as a dedicated military research unit. More...
  • Mir-Shuttle Docking Module Russian manned space station. One launch, 1995.11.12. A specialized SO docking module was originally designed for docking the Buran space shuttle with the Mir-2 space station. More...
  • Priroda Russian manned space station. One launch, 1996.04.23. Priroda was the last Mir module launched. It was originally an all-Soviet remote sensing module for combined civilian and military surveillance of the earth. More...
  • ISS Unity American manned space station. One launch, 1998.10.29, Unity. Unity was the first U.S.-built component of the International Space Station. More...
  • ISS Zvezda Russian manned space station. One launch, 2000.07.12, Zvezda. The Zvezda service module of the International Space Station had its origins a quarter century before it was launched. More...
  • Sundancer American manned space station. Study 2010. The Sundancer inflatable space station had provisions for three crew. It was to be launched by 2010 aboard a Falcon 9, Zenit-2, or Atlas V booster. More...
  • Chinese Space Laboratory Chinese manned space station. Study 2012. The latest models displayed of the Chinese Space Laboratory show it to have a larger-diameter module, about 4 m in diameter, and a narrower module forward, about 3 m in diameter. More...
  • CSS Skywalker American manned space station. Study 2015. Commercial Space Station Skywalker was hotel entrepreneur Bigelow's concept for the first space hotel. More...
  • Neptune American manned space station. Study 2018. A unique aspect of the Neptune stage-and-a-half commercial launch vehicle concept was that the main rocket structure, once in orbit, could act as a small space station. More...
  • Mini Space Station European manned space station. Study 2020. Potential European independent space station consisting of two docked ATV's with additional life support systems. More...
  • Safe Haven European manned space station. Study 2020. The ATV could evolve towards an unmanned free-flying laboratory providing a better microgravity level than the ISS. More...

Associated Programs
  • Almaz The only manned military space station to have ever flown, it served only to prove that manned stations provided no cost-effective substitute to unmanned military satellites. Derivatives of the design continue in service into the 21st Century as modules of the Salyut, Mir, and International Space Stations. More...
  • ISS Finally completed in 2010 after a torturous 25-year development and production process, the International Space Station was originally conceived as the staging post for manned exploration of the solar systrem. Instead, it was seemed to be the death knell of manned spaceflight. More...
  • Mir The Mir space station was the last remnant of the once mighty Soviet space programme. It was built to last only five years, and was to have been composed of modules launched by Proton and Buran/Energia launch vehicles. These modules were derived from those originally designed by Chelomei in the 1960's for the Almaz military station programme. As the Soviet Union collapsed Mir stayed in orbit, but the final modules were years late and could only be completed with American financial assistance. Kept flying over a decade beyond its rated life, Mir proved a source of pride to the Russian people and proved the ability of their cosmonauts and engineers to improvise and keep operations going despite all manner of challenges and mishaps. More...
  • Skylab First and only US space station to date. Project began life as Apollo Orbital Workshop - outfitting of an S-IVB stage with docking adapter with equipment launched by several subsequent S-1B launches. Curtailment of the Apollo moon landings meant that surplus Saturn V's were available, so the pre-equipped, five times heavier, and much more capable Skylab resulted. More...

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