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astronautix.com Aussenstation


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

H. H. Koelle's Aussenstation was a large circular structure consisting of 36 separate 5-m spheres arranged around a central hub, the whole structure rotating to provide an artificial gravity environment. Each sphere, launched via separate rockets, was a complete functional module. In this way the station could be made operational before fabrication was completed, and subsequent expansion of the structure could take place whenever desired. Total personnel complement of the station would range from 50 to 65 people.

Estimated cost was $518 million for construction and $620 million over an operational lifetime of six months. The station would be used for scientific investigations of Earth's upper atmosphere, weather observation, astrophysical research, and human and chemical research in a zero-gravity environment. It also might serve as a communications and navigation link with the ground and as a station for launching more distant space missions.


Specification


Aussenstation Chronology


01 January 1951 Die Aussenstation

At the second annual congress of the International Astronautical Federation in London, H. H. Koelle described 'Die Aussenstation' as part of a paper on 'Der Einfluss der Konstruktiven Gestaltung der Aussenstation auf die Gesamtkosten des Projektes (The Influence of the Layout of the Satellite on the Overall Cost of the Project).' Koelle's paper represented the most realistic appraisal so far of the problems of design and construction of a space station. He dealt with problems of payload limitation, orbital assembly, limitations on the crew in the space environment, and national and economic factors behind space station growth. In Koelle's view, such a station might be used for scientific investigations of Earth's upper atmosphere, weather observation, astrophysical research, and human and chemical research in a zero-gravity environment. Also, such a station might serve as a communications and navigation link with the ground and as a station for launching more distant space missions. He suggested a large circular structure consisting of 36 separate 5-m spheres arranged around a central hub, the whole structure rotating to provide an artificial gravity environment to offset physiological effects of prolonged weightlessness on the crew. One of the unique elements in Koelle's scheme was assembly of various parts of the station launched via separate rockets, with each segment being a complete structure. In this way the station could be made operational before fabrication was completed, and subsequent expansion of the structure could take place whenever desired. Total personnel complement of the station would range from 50 to 65 people. Koelle even estimated the cost of such a project: $518 million for construction and $620 million over an operational lifetime of six months.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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