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astronautix.com Science and Applications Manned Space Platform

SAMSP
SAMSP
This illustration from 1981 depicts the assembly of a large telecommunications antenna (right) at the Science & Applications Manned Space Platform.

Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 44,292 bytes. 524 x 480 pixels.


Nation: USA. Agency: NASA.

While NASA/Johnson was studying the Space Operations Center concept, the Marshall Space Flight Center was lobbying for its own station -- the Science and Applications Manned Space Platform (SAMSP). MSFC envisioned a series of cheap 'platforms' costing only $500 million that could be outfitted for different missions. One mission would be to service spacecraft such as the Hubble Space Telescope. The platform would provide power, communications, thermal control and other services for standard Shuttle payload experiments -- it essentially served as a surrogate Shuttle payload bay. SAMSP could gradually evolve into a manned space station by adding pressurised crew modules derived from Spacelab. Initially, SAMSP would have a crew of three to four astronauts.


SAMSPSAMSP - SAMSP could gradually evolve into a manned space station by adding pressurized crew modules derived from Spacelab. McDonnell-Douglas illustration from 1981.

Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 45,676 bytes. 638 x 416 pixels.


NASA/Marshall issued a number of Science and Applications Manned Space Platform contracts to McDonnell-Douglas and TRW in 1980. A 1981 unmanned TRW platform design carried three Spacelab unpressurised experiment pallets, including a space telescope. Two large solar panel 'wings' generated power while the radiator dumped excess heat produced by the experiments. The unmanned TRW platform could be customised for different missions. The TRW platform could be transformed into a human-tended microgravity laboratory by adding Spacelab pressurised modules. These would contain sensitive experiments and be replaced at regular intervals by visiting Space Shuttles.


SAMSP TRWSAMSP TRW - SAMSP. The TRW platform could be transformed into a human tended microgravity laboratory by adding Spacelab pressurized modules. These contain sensitive experiments which are replaced on regular intervals by visiting Space Shuttles (bottom).

Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 62,187 bytes. 555 x 480 pixels.


Article by Marcus Lindroos
Specification

Electrical System: Solar panels.



SAMSP TRWSAMSP TRW - SAMSP. NASA/Marshall issued a number of Science & Applications Manned Space Platform contracts to McDonnell-Douglas and TRW in 1980. This TRW illustration from 1981 depicts a unmanned platform being serviced by a Space Shuttle.

Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 69,605 bytes. 640 x 471 pixels.



SAMSP / HSTSAMSP / HST - SAMSP and Hubble Space Telescope. This illustration shows three SAMSPs in different Earth orbits. One mission would be to service spacecraft such as the Hubble Space Telescope (bottom)

Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 48,873 bytes. 526 x 480 pixels.



SAMSP TRWSAMSP TRW - SAMSP. This unmanned TRW platform from 1981 carries three Spacelab unpressurized experiment pallets, including a space telescope. Two large solar panel "wings" generate power while the radiator on top radiates away excess heat produced by the experiments.

Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 58,316 bytes. 640 x 380 pixels.



SAMSPSAMSP - Space Platform - TRW. The unmanned TRW platform could be customized for different missions.

Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 18,018 bytes. 320 x 197 pixels.



SAMSP 1981SAMSP 1981 - SAMSP. This McDonnell-Douglas illustration from 1980 depicts the basic unmanned platform equipped with a small Spacelab telescope pallet. The platform would provide power, communications, thermal control and other services for standard Shuttle payload experiments -- it essentially served as a surrogate Shuttle payload bay.

Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 50,984 bytes. 631 x 480 pixels.



SAMSP 1982SAMSP 1982 - SAMSP. This TRW illustration from 1982 depicts two astronauts doing repairs outside the Science & Applications Manned Space Platform.

Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 62,548 bytes. 641 x 480 pixels.



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