Building in Space

by Virginia Fairweather, Editor; ASCE 345 E. 47th St., New York, N. Y. 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1985, Vol. 55, Issue 6, Pg. 66-69

Document Type: Feature article


Work on the nation's first permanently manned space station has begun. Almost $200 million in contracts for conceptual design for the station were awarded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the spring of 1985. The largest package is for work on the truss structure that will form the backbone for the space station. There are two design/construct options at this time: erectable and deployable. Both would be made of graphite epoxy. An erectable truss system would have elements shipped to orbit on the space shuttle where astronauts would assemble the truss in space. A deployable system would be preassembled with compression springs, folded down for shipping to orbit, then released and exploded in space. Modules for power, fuel, laboratory activities and living quarters, etc. would then be attached to the truss.

Subject Headings: Space stations | Space truss | Space construction | Orbits | Contracts | Conceptual design | Federal government | Space structures

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