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Ideal Home Station
Ideal Home Station
Ideal Home Exhibition Space Station

Credit: NASA. 13,612 bytes. 461 x 524 pixels.

Class: Manned. Type: Space Station. Nation: USA.

Designed by Douglas, the Space Vehicle was represented by a full-scale model at the Ideal Home Show in London in 1962. It had a length of 19 m and was 5.2 m in diameter. It was clearly based on the use of a Saturn S-IV spent second stage. After take-off the first stage of the Saturn I would burn out at an altitude of 60 km; the second stage would enter orbit at 400 km. Once in orbit the Space Vehicle was pointed towards the sun. Its mission was to map stellar space, to make spectroscopic observations and to obtain other astronomical data, all of which are telemetered directly to earth stations.

The crew of four men make their ascent in the nose cone (in which they also reenter the atmosphere and return to earth). Once in orbit they move down from the cone into the central column, blow out the fuel chamber--which is to be their working and living quarters--and set up their equipment which has been stored in the area between nose and tank. The sheathing, which covers their part of the Vehicle, opens up into four petals which have sun batteries on their inner surfaces. These provide 5 kw of power to drive the electrical equipment. Inside the sheathing, telescopes, radio antennae and other gear all stand during ascent. Working in space suits the team assemble this equipment, transfer stores, and are soon ready to set up their space routine. Each man takes his watch. Actually during the twenty-four hours each member of the crew does approximately eight hours on duty, has eight hours for sleep and eight hours free for exercise, meals and recreation. While on duty, the crew control the transmission of their observations to earth and keep watch on the temperature and atmospheric conditions within the Space Vehicle. The blue and white stripes on the outside of the vehicle are designed to absorb (white) and re-radiate (blue) the sun's heat (which in space is very great) and maintain a temperature of about 72 degrees fahrenheit within the working quarters. The atmospheric conditions within the Vehicle are created from oxygen and nitrogen supplies and pressurised to simulate an environment of 10,000 feet . Air breathed out by the crew (CO2) is absorbed in special containers. Visitors who go through the Vehicle should realise that the crew, in a gravity-free condition, have no "floor" or "ceiling." They would be able to work equally easily in any position. The Vehicle on exhibit at the Exhibition shows one of the crew at work on a telescope, in a space suit, outside the Vehicle. A second crew member will he seen inside the Vehicle, in his space suit, at the ready in case of emergency; a third man is relaxing, watching earth TV; a fourth is on duty at the control console. In a gravity-free condition things remain where they are-only "restraint" straps are necessary to prevent "drifting." When returning to earth, the crew go back to the re-entry Vehicle (the nose cone) in which they made their ascent. Here they fasten themselves into special seats. They then break the joints which attach them to the Space Vehicle and . . . align their vehicle so that its nose points in a direction to that of their orbit. A small rocket motor is then fired which reduces their speed and they begin to sink into the upper atmosphere and come into the earth's gravitational pull. The re-entry vehicle is then flown earthwards, losing speed and finally, at a predetermined height, a large parachute opens automatically and the capsule floats down to the ground.


Ideal Home Station Chronology

01 November 1959 Douglas contacted by Daily Mail newspaper on ideas for space stations.

Douglas Aircraft Co., Inc., was visited by a representative of the London Daily Mail newspaper who was visiting several companies to collect ideas for space stations. The Daily Mail held a highly promoted public exhibition each year called the 'London Daily Mail Home Show,' and wanted to have 'A Home in Space' as the theme for the 1959 show. Douglas offered to do a full design study (including mockup details) for him, and after visiting several other companies he returned and informed Douglas they had won the 'competition.' Additional Details: Douglas contacted by Daily Mail newspaper on ideas for space stations..

01 March 1960 London Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition Space Vehicle.

The London Daily Mail presented the Space Vehicle at its 1960 Ideal Home Exhibition, and an estimated 150 000 to 200 000 people passed through the vehicle. Additional Details: London Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition Space Vehicle..

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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .