Information Research Publications Presentations
on the Human Exploration of Space
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Linking the Space Shuttle and Space Stations
Linking the Space Shuttle and Space Stations - David J Shayler
with a Foreword by Robert L. "hoot" Gibson (former NASA Astronaut) After word by Jean-Francoise Clervoy (ESA Astronaut)
Extent: 290 pages
Publication Date: September 2017
- Discusses the development of shuttle operation in relation to early space stations
- Offers an explanation of how plans were created to fly space shuttles with the Soviet Salyut,
American Skylab and Freedom and to the Russian Mir space stations
- Explains the concept of utilizing the space shuttle design to assemble and re-supply large
space stations - Includes firsthand interviews with those involved with the program
- Discusses revealing documents from the archives of NASA on how the agency planned for
docking a shuttle to a Soviet space station.
How could the newly authorized space shuttle help in the U.S. quest to build a large research station in Earth orbit? As a means of transporting goods, the shuttle could help supply the parts to the station. But how would the two entitles be physically linked?
Docking technologies had to constantly evolve as the designs of the early space stations
changed. It was hoped the shuttle would make missions to the Russian Salyut and American Skylab stations, but these were postponed until the Mir station became available, while plans for getting a new U. S. space station underway were stalled.
In Linking the Space Shuttle and Space Stations, the author delves into the rich history of
the Space Shuttle and its connection to these early space stations, culminating in the nine
missions to dock the shuttle to Mir. By 1998, after nearly three decades of planning and
operations, shuttle missions to Mir had resulted in:
- A proven system to link up the space shuttle to a space station
- Equipment and handson experience in handling tons of materials • An infrastructure to
support space station assembly and resupply.
Each of these played a pivotal role in developing the skills and procedures crucial to the
creation of the later, much larger and far more complex International Space Station, as
described in the companion volume Assembling and Supplying the ISS: The Space Shuttle
Fulfills Its Mission.