This paper is a brief review of the background of space station design effort from the time manned space flight was initiated to the present. The existing technology base for implementation of an ambitious earth-orbital operations program is briefly commented upon. Current space station designs are discussed in the light of present performance requirements. Also presented are some of the launch vehicles considered as candidates for the future. This paper reviews the design impact of accommodating many useful experiments and earth-related applications and of obtaining a space station lifetime of up to 10 years with onboard maintenance and repair activities. The necessity of management involvement on the part of many Government and private organizations is discussed, and some practical techniques which can be used to accommodate this involvement are presented.