Earth Space Station
An Earth-orbiting space station would be very useful for assembly of the
translunar stack before launch to the Moon. If it needed to have a pressurised
habitat immediately at all, a SPACEHAB
module or two and some pressurised tubing to connect Soyuz modules, the
possible Space Station habitat, and the moonship would be all the
pressurised elements needed. Since the SPACEHAB modules, in their present
configuration, can only stay in orbit at most fourteen to sixteen days,
some modifications would be required. Outside, some girder beams, a remote
manipulator, and a service module (containing solar cells, raditaors, etc)
would suffice. Since there would be probably be a Soyuz module attached
whenever there was a crew at the station (and thus needed power), the Soyuz
module's service module might suffice for powering and cooling the station,
at least in part.
An Earth-orbiting space station would have many opportunities to pay
for itself. Aside from acting as a transportation node,
it could be a great place for commercial enterprise and interested research
organizations to carry out commercially-funded experiments.
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contributors. All rights reserved.
- Paying science, with as much lab time as wanted for long-duration
- Laboratory space and time for sale to corporations for industrial research
- Commercial microgravity manufacturing
assembly of vehicles, including but not limited to, the moonbase
- Exploiting the entertainment value of the space station
- On-orbit storage facility, providing access to transportation and orbit
maintainence for material like refuse, Space Shuttle External Tanks, and
other on-orbit materials which are valuable but whose orbits would degrade.
- Transportation node, which could exchange and hold passengers related
to the lunar base missions
- Earth and space observation
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Updated Thu, Jul 30, 1998.