Space Station Spacedock. This 1988 illustration depicts a large "Drive-thru" spacedock facility for assembly and checkout of manned lunar spacecraft.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 40,581 bytes. 578 x 475 pixels.
After the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger accident, a number of space policy reports ('Pioneering the Space Frontier', 'Leadership and America's Future in Space') advocated an aggressive manned lunar/Mars program to restore America's lead in space. NASA now embarked on a number of studies to see how the downscaled Space Station Freedom could assist this goal. This would involve use of a large spacedock facility for assembly and checkout of manned lunar or planetary spacecraft.
|Spacedock - Space Station Spacedock. This free-flying "spacedock" would be constructed from Space Station subsystems such as solar thermodynamic power generators, radiators, truss segments etc.. The white tanks contain rocket propellant for the space tug.|
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 73,035 bytes. 599 x 479 pixels.
|Atrium Spacedock - The "Atrium" spacedock would also have utilized the same type of modules and structures as Space Station Freedom.|
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 19,261 bytes. 466 x 480 pixels.
|Tether and Spacedock - Space Station Spacedock. Most NASA studies preferred to develop a separate spacecraft assembly & checkout facility in order to minimize the impact on sensitive experiments onboard Space Station Freedom. This "spacedock" would be connected to the Space Station by a long tether. The space tug (top) will receive a free boost from the centrifugal forces when it releases the tether|
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 30,353 bytes. 535 x 404 pixels.
|Spacedock - Space Station Spacedock. The "Drive-thru" spacedock would have weighed more than twice as much as the basic Space Station Freedom, which had an in-orbit mass of 200 metric tons. Lunar transfer vehicles would have been assembled, serviced and refueled inthe rectangular enclosure on top.|
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 25,766 bytes. 640 x 480 pixels.
|Spacedock - Space Station Spacedock. The "Platform" spacedock would have featured a large gravity gradient-stabilized extension at the bottom. The Canadian MobileServicing Center would have been capable of moving up and down this structure,transporting the lunar spacecraft stack along the way.|
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 12,315 bytes. 640 x 350 pixels.