A space station is an artificial structure designed for humans to live and work in outer space for a period of time.
To date, only low earth orbital (LEO) stations have been implemented, otherwise known as orbital stations. A space station is distinguished from other manned spacecraft by its lack of major propulsion or landing facilities—instead, other vehicles are used as transport to and from the station. Space stations are designed for medium-term living in orbit, for periods of weeks, months, or even years. The only space station currently in use is the International Space Station. Previous stations include the Almaz & Salyut series, Skylab and Mir.
Space stations are used to study the effects of long-term space flight on the human body as well as to provide platforms for greater number and length of scientific studies than available on other space vehicles. Since the ill-fated flight of Soyuz 11 to Salyut 1, all manned spaceflight duration records have been set aboard space stations. The duration record for a single spaceflight is 437.7 days, set by Valeriy Polyakov aboard Mir from 1994 to 1995. As of 2009, three astronauts have completed single missions of over a year, all aboard Mir.
Space stations have been used for both military and civilian purposes. The last military-use space station was Salyut 5, which was used by the Almaz program of the Soviet Union in 1976 and 1977.
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Kerim Aliyevich Kerimov (1917 – 2003) was an Azerbaijani Soviet rocket scientist, one of the founders of the Soviet space industry, and for many years a central figure in the Soviet space program. Despite his prominent role, his identity was kept a secret from the public for most of his career. He was one of the lead architects behind the string of Soviet successes that stunned the world from the late 1950s – from the launch of the first satellite, the Sputnik 1 in 1957, and the first human spaceflight, Yuri Gagarin's 108-minute trip around the globe aboard the Vostok 1 in 1961, to the first fully automated space docking, of Cosmos 186 and Cosmos 188 in 1967, and the first space stations, the Salyut and Mir series from 1971 to 1991.
Mir (Russian: Peace or World) was a Soviet and later Russian space station. It was the world's first consistently inhabited long-term research station in space, and the first of the third generation type of space station, constructed from 1986 to 1996 with a modular design. The station was in operation for fifteen years until March 23, 2001, when it was deliberately de-orbited, breaking apart during atmospheric re-entry over the South Pacific Ocean.
The Lunar outpost will be an inhabited facility on the surface of the Moon which NASA currently proposes to construct over the five years between 2019 and 2024. The United States Congress has directed that the U.S. portion, "shall be designated the Neil A. Armstrong Lunar Outpost".
A lunar space elevator (also called a moonstalk) is a proposed cable running from the surface of the Moon into space.
A rotating wheel space station is a hypothetical wheel-shaped space station that could create artificial gravity by rotating. If the station were rotated, inertia and the centripetal force would cause objects to press against the outer rim of the "wheel"; in the rotating frame of reference of the space station centrifugal force would give an acceleration similar to gravity.
Space colonization (space settlement, space humanization, space habitation) is autonomous (self-sufficient) human habitation outside of Earth. It is a long-term goal of national space programs.
Space stations and Space habitats are commonly found ideas in modern culture. While space stations are a reality, there are as yet no true space habitats, although many design proposals have been made with varying degrees of realism by both science fiction authors and engineers. Science fiction writers, scientists, and other people have written about or portrayed both types of structures extensively throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
A space habitat (also called an orbital colony, or a space colony, city, or settlement) is a space station intended as a permanent settlement rather than as a simple waystation or other specialized facility. No space habitats have yet been constructed, but many design proposals have been made with varying degrees of realism by both science fiction authors and engineers.
Space Station Freedom was the name given to NASA's project to construct a permanently manned Earth-orbiting space station. Although approved by then-president Ronald Reagan and announced in the 1984 State of the Union Address, Freedom was never constructed or completed as originally designed, and after several cutbacks, the remnants of the project became part of the International Space Station.
The Space Station Biological Research Program is the main project concerning life sciences research to be conducted on the International Space Station. It is a program of NASA's Ames Research Center, with co-operation from other national space agencies. The SSBRP's goal is to study the development, life cycle, and behaviour of certain organisms in the environment of outer space.
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