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(NASA-PA8-5 10/1?-87) ’ SPACE STATION: A STEP N8!


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Space Station
A Step Into The Future
Andrew J. Stofan

The Space Station is an essential element of NASA’s on- ment needs to occur before such an expedition could be
going program to recover from the loss of the Challenger mounted. Much research needs to be conducted about the
and to regain for the United States its position of leadership biological effects of long duration space flight. A Space Sta-
in space. Such leadership was won through imagination, tion is the only place where such activity can be accomplish-
daring and hard work. It will take substantial quantities of all ed. The Space Station thus will be a laboratory for prepara-
three for our country to again lead the way in the exploration tory work essential to any future manned space exploration.
and utilization of the space frontier. And it will serve, when the mission begins, as a point of de-
Our first priority at NASA is and must be the safe return of parture for this lengthy, bold yet hazardous journey. The
the Space Shuttle to flight operations. To this end we are mak- Space Station is thus an enabling capability for the future.
ing significant progress. Our efforts are aimed not only to a The Space Station Program itself has made substantial
successful flight in 1988, but also to a Shuttle program that progress. The President’s directive to NASA to develop,
supports a substantial number of flights in the years ahead. within a decade, a permanently manned Space Station was
Concurrently, v e are reconfiguring our space science and made over three years ago. Since that directive, an enor-
applications program, mindful of the central position this pro- mous amount of work has taken place, at NASA, in industry
gram holds in the country’s overall space activities. We are and overseas. Let me note briefly here some of the major
defining NASA requirements for expendable launch vehicles, efforts we’ve undertaken. Taken together, they give me con-
giving shape and specificity to the mixed fleet we will have in fidence that we are indeed on the right track.
the future. To establish a strong technical foundation for the We have completed with industry an extensive, 21-month
future, we will be initiating a Civil Space Technology Initiative definition and preliminary design study. This “Phase B”
to be implemented in cooperation with industry and acade- analysis was supplemented by a critical evaluation of the
mia. We have made substantial modificationsto the NASA Space Station’s configuration conducted by a special NASA
organizational structure to assure a stronger centralized task force. We have conducted a special review of the Space
management.And we have underway a strategic planning Station Program with the White House and have agreed up-
process that will help us understand the future and better on a phased approach to Station development. A Revised
define NASA‘s goals and missions. Baseline configuration has been established and the compe-
The Space Station is important because it is about the tition for Space Station hardware development has been in-
future. The Station will become operational in the mid-1990’s itiated. NASA is currently reviewing industry’s Phase C/D
and will function as a research laboratory for some 20 to 30 proposals and hopes to have contracts negotiated late in
years, well into the 21st century. What we are doing now, by 1987 or early 1988.
undertaking the development of a permanently manned We have completed a 3-year effort in technology develop-
Space Station, is preparing for the future. We are building a ment and are now defining a transition program for future
complex spacecraft in which men and women - living and technical advances. A special effort has been made to better
working in Earth orbit -will conduct scientific and techno- understandthe potential of the Space Station for utilizing
logical research. The Station will be the centerpiece of our automation and robotics (A&R), and a Flight Telerobotic Ser-
future activities in space. It will not be the only thing we are vicer has been identified as the centerpiece of our efforts in
doing, but it will be a critical element of our civil space this area. Extensive analysis of user requirements has been
program. made and is continuing. These requirements are influencing
The frontiers of space’eventually will beckon us again to Space Station design. A major effort to understand opera-
leave the confines of Earth and explore once more the lunar tional considerationsalso has been made and a special
surface or land upon Mars, the planet that most closely re- continued on page 4
sembles our own. When this will occur is uncertain. That it
will occur is not at issue, for the intangible imperative of hu-
man exploration will not, in the long run, be denied. It ap-
pears likely that man will journey back to the Moon or to
Mars within the next forty years. Much technology develop-

Andrew J. Stofan is the NASA Associate Administrator for Space Station.

To balance the need to reduce federal spending while this boom. The four pressurized modules include a
establishinga permanently manned Space Station in the laboratory and habitation module to be provided by the
mid-l990’s, NASA and the Administration have adopted a United States. The European Space Agency (ESA) and
phased approach to Station development. This approach Japan each will be providing an additional laboratory,
provides an initial capability at reduced costs, to be followed assuming current negotiationswith them are successful. ESA
by an enhanced Space Station capability in the future. NASA also will be providing a ManTended Free Flyer, a pressurized
has evaluated hardware proposals from industry that reflect module capable of operations both attached to and separate
this phased approach. Contractor selection can be antici- from the Space Station core. Canada is expected to provide
pated shortly. the first increment of a Mobile Servicing System.
The phased approach utilizes a design derived from the The Revised Baseline Configuration includes a logistics
baseline configurationdeveloped by NASA and industry dur- module and the necessary logistics system. It also includes a
ing the Phase B studies, and confirmed by NASA’s Critical Flight Telerobotic Service (FE).The centerpiece of the
Evaluation Task Force. Termed “Revised Baseline Configura- Space Station program’s response to a congressional man-
tion,” and shown in Figure 1, this design features a 110-meter- date to enhance the technologies of automation and robot-
long horizontal boom to which are attached in the middle ics, the FTS will be used in the assembly and maintenance of
four pressurized modules. At each end are located four photo- the Station. The Goddard Space Flight Center is responsible
voltaic arrays generating a total of 75 kw of power. Two at- for its development.
tachment points for external payloads are provided along Integral to the Space Station concept are free-flying, un-

gure 1
. I
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ORIGINAL PAGE -.+ * <\.a;,

Figure 2

manned platforms. These provide a different set of capabili- pattern of the revised baseline. This configuration would
ties from those of the manned base. Two such platforms, feature dual keels, two vertical spines 105 meters long joined
both to be flown in polar orbit, are included in the Revised by upper and lower booms. The structure carrying the mod-
Baseline Configuration.They will be developed by the United ules would become a transverse boom of a basically rec-
States and the European Space Agency. tangular structure. The two new booms, 45 meters in length,
The Revised Baseline Configuration achieves two funda- would provide extensive accommodations for attached pay-
mental goals established by NASA in response to President loads, and would offer a wide field of view. Power would be
Reagan’s Space Station directive. The configuration realizes increased significantly, with the addition of a 50 kw solar
a permanently manned presence in space. And it provides dynamic power system. Satellite servicing capabilities would
diverse and useful capabilitiesfor those who wish to work be provided, in large part by the addition of a US. supplied
in space. servicing bay. This enhanced configuration might well include
In addition, the Revised Baseline Configuration provides an unmanned, free-flying platform that would co-orbit with
for meaningful internationalparticipation. Moreover, power the Space Station manned base. I

levels will be substantial, 75 kw, and the Station will be de-

signed to accommodate more power and the additional
modules that inevitablywill be desired in the future.
Illustrated in Figure 2 is a configuration with enhanced
capabilities. It builds on the horizontal boom and module

Operations Task Force has reported to me the findings and report helped to shape technical aspects of the Program.
conclusions of its six month review. A third effort is expected to be completed this month. The
In addition, we have restructured the program’s organiza- National Research Council has examined the program and
tion, established a Technical and Management Information endorsed the Space Station configuration, commenting on
System (TMIS) to achieve timely and effective program con- transportation, cost and management issues. The Adminis-
trol, and procured a Program Support Contractor to assist us tration will utilize the Committee’s analysis in formulating
in management and integration activities. NASA’s FY 1989 budget request to Congress.
We have analyzed the capability for man-tended Space The result of all this activity is a program that is well defined
Station capabilities and have incorporated such a potential in and, in my view, well conceived. NASA has made the Space
the Station’s assembly sequence. We have established Station program a major, priority project. All the field centers
guidelines for private sector participation in Space Station have participated, and in devising the program we have tap-
development, and are soliciting industry’s ideas on how best ped the rich experience and extraordinary talents of people
to realize via the Space Station increased commercial activi- in both NASA and industry.
ties in space. We have reviewed extensively transportation re- Let me review a few of the Space Station policies that have
quirements for the Station and are presently examining what shaped the program. These policies have guided our overall
role Expendable Launch Vehicles might have in supplemen- activities and have given direction to our technical analysis:
ting the Space Shuttle in Space Station operations. We have The Space Station is first and foremost a research labora-
reviewed the related subjects of Station safety and crew res- tory. We are building an orbiting laboratory - for the con-
cue and look forward to the results of a Phase B study to be duct of science, the development of technologies and the
conducted on crew emergency return systems. We have stimulation of commercial space enterprises. The Station
completed extensive discussions with Canada, the European will support both laboratory sciences and observational
Space Agency and Japan on their participation in the Pro- sciences. Its architecture incorporates both a manned
gram, concluding one set of agreements on international co- base and free-flying, unmanned platforms. Men and wo-
operation for Space Station definition and, currently, negotia- men representing those who will use the Space Station for
ting with our partners on cooperation during development research have been participating in the design of the facili-
and operations. We have conducted a recent and thorough ty and must continue to do so.
review of Space Station costs. The Space Station is a permanent facility, to be in opera-
A particularly special effort has been made to solicit and tion 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No longer will we
listen to the advice of those outside NASA whose experience simply visit space. We will be there, living and working in
and expertise will benefit the Space Station Program. Several space, all the time. This makes the Space Station different
such efforts should be mentioned here: the first is the Task from what we have done in the past. The potential is enor-
Force on the Scientific Uses of the Space Station whose work mous, for humans are the most sophisticated of all ma-
is helping to assure that the Space Station will be a produc- chines. By being in orbit for months instead of days, Space
tive tool of scientific research. The second was the National Station crews will be able to take full advantage of human
Research Council’s ad hoc Committee on Space Station creativity, dexterity and perception. And with a significant
Engineering and Technology Development whose 1985 amount of unmanned, automated systems, the Space Sta-
tion will optimize the role of its crew. Thus, it will capitalize
on the proven capabilities in space of both man and
The Space Station is a civil endeavor. President Reagan
approved the program on the basis of its civil scientific and
commercial potential. NASA, the nation’s civil space agen-
cy, has both the mandate and responsibility to develop our
Nation’s permanently manned Space Station. Clearly, the

Courtesy 01 Boerng Aerospace Company

Station will be a national asset, but there must be no doubt New technologies will emerge. The Station must be able to
that it will be used for peaceful purposes consistent with accommodatethem. The configuration we have devised is
our commitment to the peaceful uses of outer space. It designed to support such growth. Provision for future in-
may be that in the future the Department of Defense will creases in power for additional pressurized modules and
utilize Space Station capabilities. Their use, like all uses, for more attachment points to support external payloads
would be for peaceful purposes. are built into the configuration. It is essential that they are.
The Space Station will have significant international partici- We cannot be certain of the exact direction or pace Space
pation. In directing NASA to develop the Space Station, Station evolution will take, but we can be sure it wjll OCCUI.
President Reagan invited friends and allies of the United President Reagan is committed to the development of a
States to join the endeavor. Canada, Europe and Japan permanently manned Space Station. Congress has been
responded and much work already has been done co- supportive, in both providing funds and appropriate guid-
operatively. At present, we are negotiating formal agree- ance. NASA is dedicated to building a Station that, in serving
ments for cooperation during Space Station hardware science, technology and commerce, assures for the United
development and operations. I am optimistic about their States a future in space that is as exciting and rewarding as
outcome. NASA expects to continue the US. tradition of our past. In cooperation with our partners in industry and
conducting cooperative space endeavors with other coun- abroad, we intend to develop a Space Station that is intellec-
tries. In addition to obvious foreign policy benefits, interna- tually productive, technically demanding and genuinely
tional participation in the Space Station Program means a usefuI.
more capable Space Station.
The Station must be designed to evolve in time to a more This article, in edited form, appeared in the Septembes 1987 issue of
capable vstem. The Space Station will be in orbit some 20 Aerospace America and is printed here with the kind permission of
to 30 years. New requirements will arise during that time. the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

The Space Station Program reenforcedthrough the establishment of user oriented divi-
sions within the Office of Space Station and of a Space Sta-
A Brief Look Back tion Program Chief Scientist. In addition to developing re-
By Terence 7: Finn quirements, the user community reviewed Request for Pro-
In January 1984, during the State of the Union address, posals, critiqued configuration analyses, participated in
the President of the United States directed NASA to develop Change Boards and generally participated at all levels in
a Space Station. Mr. Reagan said the Station was to be per- Space Station Program planning.
manently manned, and be developed within a decade. A Systems definition and preliminary design for the Space
civil endeavor, devoted to peaceful purposes, the Space Sta- Station began formally in April 1985 with industry performing
tion was to stimulate new technologies, enhance Science and extensive 21 month Phase B analyses. Structured around
applications, and help realizethe commercial potential of space. “work packages” and involving key aerospace companies,
To be operating well into the 21st century, the Space Station these studies developed the technical understanding of the
was - and is - envisioned to be the flagship of future NASA Station systems and elements. The products generated by
programs, assuring for the United States preeminence in the this effort included: a baseline configuration; a functional de-
utilization and exploration of space sign; and a plan to proceed into development. Validated by a
The contemporary Space Station Program traces its begin- Critical Evaluation Task Force (CETF) review of Space Station
ning to the statement by James M. Beggs that the Station design in the fall of 1986, the NASA - industry Station analy-
was the agency’s next major goal following the early success sis was further reviewed early in 1987 by the Administration.
of the Space Shuttle. Beggs spoke in July 1981 at Senate This led to the adoption of the phased approach to Space
confirmation hearings to be the NASA Administrator. In May Station development and to the Revised Baseline Configura-
of 1982, he established a Space Station Task Force. The Task tion. Thesearethesubjectof thecurrent National Research Coun-
Force, under the leadership of John D. Hodge, spent the cil review. They also form the basis of the Phase C/D detailed
next two years defining preliminary requirements for a per- design and hardware development proposals received from
manently manned Space Station and developing a concep- industry this July and now under evaluation by NASA.
tual architectureto accommodate these requirements. U.S. Both systems definition and user requirements have been
industry participatedextensively in these two activities via affected by a key parameter of Space Station Program plan-
Task Force sponsored Phase A studies. Concurrently, the ning: the necessity of providing for Station evolution. As a
NASA Space Station Technology Steering Committee estab- permanent facility, the Station will evolve in time as new re-
lished a major agency effort in technology assessment and quirements and technologies emerge. Space Station evolu-
development. tion was a concern of the Space Station Task Force and the
From the beginning, NASA Space Station Program plan- current design philosophy, in both industry and NASA, retains
ning has focused on accommodating users. The Station is, this focus. Space Station evolution workshops were held in
afterall, a research and development laboratory that must September 1985 and August 1986. Additional workshops are
enable a variety of disciplines to utilize its unique capabilities. expected to be held in the future.
User requirements must be identified, validated and then As expected, the Space Station configuration has evolved
translated to generic system capabilities, within the obvious in the past five years. Station architecture has remained re-
restraints of technology, budgets and schedule Starting in markably constant, but “the design” has changed as tech-
1983, NASA conducted a number of Space Station user
workshops. Internationaluser workshops have also been
held, the first being in Copenhagen in May 1985. Outside
counsel was sought and utilized with the establishment in
April 1984 of a Task Force on the Scientific Utilization of the
Space Station (TFSUSS). The National Academy of Science’s
Space Science Board and Space Applications Board con-
tributed advice as well. Within NASA the user focus was

nical understanding matured. In 1983, the Space Station ments and preliminary results of the detinition studies, pro-
Task Force and its Concept Development Group produced a gram level agreements were reached in 1986 with all three
“planar” configuration. This served as the starting point for partners. These agreements identified hardware elements for
the “power tower,” the reference configuration utilized in the Space Station which each partner would carry into de-
Phase B. This in turn was modified in the summer of 1985 by velopment, subject to further formal agreements being
the dual keel configuration and adopted formally by NASA at reached covering detailed design and development.
the Systems RequirementsReview in the spring of 1986. This Negotiationsare presently underway to establish the for-
configuration was reviewed extensively by the Critical Evalua- mal basis for Space Station cooperation with Europe,
tion Task Force and altered slightly. This year, the CETF con- Canada and Japan during the development and operations
figuration was changed to a simpler Revised Baseline Con- phases. Such internationalcooperation would result in a
figuration with a potential Enhanced Configurationthat is more capable Space Station. It also would continue the tradi-
similar to the dual keel design. tion in the U.S. of having mutually beneficial cooperative ac-
In directing NASA to develop a permanently manned tivities in space
Space Station, President Reagan invited friends and allies of Congressional involvement in Space Station Program plan-
the United States to join the endeavor. Informal discussions ning has been both extensive and supportive In addition to
with potential partners had begun as early as 1982 as NASA providing the funds requested by NASA for the Space Sta-
sought their views on requirements and architecture, as part tion, Congress - both House and Senate - has provided
of the definition effort necessary for a Presidential decision. guidance and direction. The Senate has directed that NASA
In June 1984, the Space Station Program was discussed by utilize the Space Station Program to enhance the technolo-
the leaders of the nations attending the London Economic gies of automation and robotics. The House has directed
Summit. International meetings were held in Washington, that a man-tended concept be incorporated in the agency’s
D.C., in 1984 at which preliminary guidelines for international planning. Both of these have been done. Congressional in-
cooperation were presented by NASA and discussed with of- terest in Space Station operations and in Station science
ficials from Europe, Canada and Japan. planning is also high. Since 1984, Congress has required
Agreements to set the framework for cooperation in the NASA to submit a number of Space Station reports. Among
definition phase were signed in the spring of 1985 with those sent to Congress are a Management Plan and Pro-
Europe, Japan and Canada. These Phase B agreements curement Strategy in December 1984; a report on Opera-
provided for parallel preliminary design and detailed defini- tional Cost Parameters in December 1985; a report on a
tion studies and established a process to identify elements ManTended Approach in May 1986; and a report on Imple-
for the initial Space Station which could be developed by the menting Selected Design Parameters in April 1987.
partners. Based on the process established by these agree- Space Station Program planning has been a wide ranging
and thorough enterprise. Since the President’s directive in
1984, substantial progress has been made in a host of areas:
user requirements, technology development, systems de-
sign, management analyses, internationalplanning. To be
sure, the program has not always had smooth sailing. But the
years of preliminary analysis have been well spent. The tech-
nical understanding of the Space Station is substantial, and
NASA - late in 1987 - appears ready to begin detailed
design and development.