Space platforms - A cost effective evolution of Spacelab operationThe capabilities added to the Shuttle/Spacelab configuration by the addition of the Power Extension Package (PEP), the Power System (PS), and the Science and Applications Space Platforms (SASP) are reviewed with an emphasis on SASP. SASP are intended for placement in orbit by the Shuttle to test new instruments and systems, for clustering of instrumentation, and for servicing, refurbishment, repair, or augmentation by the Shuttle. The PEP permits extended stays in orbit (30 days), and the PS is an orbital solar array and energy storage system acting as a free flying spacecraft. The Shuttle can deliver payloads to the PS or attach to it for extension of the Spacelab operations. Applications of SASP for long term space-based biological experiments are outlined, and the fact that SASP do not increase the required Shuttle in-orbit time is stressed.
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Stofan, A. J. (NASA Office of Space Science Washington, DC, United States)