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Yesterday's Tomorrow: A Look at Space Stations That Never Were [Slide Show]

The International Space Station is starting its 11th year of continuous human habitation. Here is a look at designs for orbiting outposts that didn't make it off the drawing board

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QUADRUPLE DECKER:

This orbit and launch facility concept designed by NASA at an unknown date was so large that its assembly could only be performed in space. The two main modules were designed to be 10 meters in diameter and 12 meters in length, and would have been combined to create a four-deck facility.....[ More ]

SOLAR-CELL STATION:

This NASA Johnson Space Center's 1984 concept featured a rooflike structure covered with an array of solar cells that would generate about 120 kilowatts of electricity. Within the V-shaped beams are five rooms.....[ More ]

ARTIFICIAL GRAVITY:

This 1969 space station concept designed by the Apollo program would rotate on its central axis to produce artificial gravity, which simulates a more Earth-like environment for space flyers than microgravity does.....[ More ]

MOVIE-SET STATION:

The space station featured in the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey is based on a model made by Wernher von Braun, the first director of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.....[ More ]

MULTIPURPOSE STATION:

The purpose of this 1960 three-module space station concept, designed by the Apollo program, was to transfer crews to and from orbit.....[ More ]

MANNED ORBITING LAB:

The U.S. Air Force's Manned Orbiting Laboratory was designed in 1960 to assess military operations in space and would have incorporated the Gemini spacecraft to transport the crew to and from orbit. The program was canceled in 1969 after costs had risen in excess of $3 billion.....[ More ]

CUTAWAY:

This cutaway space station image appeared in NASA's 1959 Space The New Frontier brochure. The station, which could handle a crew of 50, was designed as a laboratory to study the effects of prolonged spaceflight on astronauts.....[ More ]

CONNECT-THE-STATION:

Austrian engineer Hermann Potocnik, also known as Herman Noordung, created the first technical drawings of a space station in 1929. This three-unit station contains a living area, machine room and observatory connected by long cables.....[ More ]

BRICK MOON:

This brick satellite is an artist’s impression of the first-known space station proposal, published in an 1869 article by American author Edward Everett Hale. He described a "Brick Moon" orbiting Earth that could help guide sailing ships.....[ More ]

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