(Above) A futuristic Space Station constructed by space robots.
Technicians position the Skylab Orbital Workshop (OWS) on a rotating work dolly during the assembly phase of the OWS at the McDornell Douglas facility in California.
Skylab was America’s first space station. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) had the responsibility for developing and integrating most of the major components of the Skylab: the Orbital Workshop (OWS), Airlock Module (AM), Multiple Docking Adapter (MDA), Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM), Payload Shroud (PS), and most of the experiments.
This September 1967 photograph shows workmen removing a mockup of the Saturn V S-IVB stage that housed the Skylab Orbital Workshop (OWS) from the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), building 4755.
The mockup was shipped to McDornell Douglas in Huntington, California for design modifications. NASA used the mockup as an engineering design tool to plan structures, equipment, and experiments for Skylab, an orbiting space laboratory. The MSFC had program management responsibility for the development of Skylab hardware and experiments, including the OWS.
This is a concept drawing of an orbit and launch facility. It was to use a nuclear SNAP-II nuclear power supply on the end of the long telescoping boom. Nuclear reactors were considered dangerous, which is why in this concept drawing it was located so far away from the habitat part of the station.
Creators envisioned the structure being built in orbit to allow assembly of the station in orbit which could be then larger than anything that could be launched from Earth. The two main modules were to be 33 feet in diameter and 40 feet in length. When combined the modules would create a four deck facility, 2 decks to be used for laboratory space and 2 decks for operations and living quarters. The facility also allowed for servicing and launch of a space vehicle. Though the station was designed to operate in micro- gravity, it would also have an artificial gravity capability.
(Above) NASA mock-up of the inside of the Centrifuge Accommodations Module.
The Centrifuge Accommodations Module (CAM) is a cancelled element of the International Space Station that would have provided controlled gravity for experiments and the capability to:
•Expose a variety of biological specimens to artificial gravity levels
between 0.01g and 2g
•Simultaneously provide two different artificial gravity levels
•Provide partial g and hyper g environment for specimens to
investigate altered gravity effects and g-thresholds
•Provide short duration partial g and hyper g environment for
specimens to investigate temporal effects of gravity exposure
•Provide Earth simulation environment on ISS to isolate microgravity
effects on specimens
•Provide Earth simulation environment on ISS to allow specimens to
recover from unexpected microgravity effects
•Provide in situ 1g controls for specimens in micro-gravity
The CAM would have been attached to the Harmony module of the ISS. It was cancelled in 2005. It is now on display in an outdoor exhibit at the Tsukuba Space Center in Japan. (pictured below)