Concepts for the Evolution of the Space Station Program 860972
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's goal for the Space Station Program is to establish man's permanent presence in space. In order to achieve this goal, the Space Station must be self-sufficient, efficient in the utilization of all resources including crew time and supplies, and capable of accommodating advancing technologies and programmatic growth. While maintaining these requirements during long term orbital operations, the Space Station will also need to provide for an expanding and evolving environment capable of sustaining man and other biological processes common to Earth (including different species of animals and plants). Additionally, the Space Station will be required to support scientific research and exploration in areas of potential adaptation relative to a microgravity environment. To meet these goals in a practical and efficient manner, technological concepts must be developed for many areas including waste management, interior and exterior on-orbit module construction, shuttle docking, on-orbit repair depot operations, and improved intra-and extravehicular mobility. This paper presents concepts in these and similar areas and preliminary methods for their implementation.