In the previous sections we saw space shuttles followed by spacecrafts. But shuttles and spacecraft enable only a short-term mission for space exploration. Long-term experiments cannot be carried out. The answer to this question is a space station.
Space stations are orbiting space laboratories in which people work and live for several years.
From the early days of space exploration, man has dreamed of space stations. For years scientists have dreamed of building a permanent space station orbiting earth, a place that provides the environment for researching. Precious materials such as crystals, semiconductors can be manufactured in a better form. Space stations could provide a platform for building new cities and colonies thus relieving our crowded planet.
United states and Russia have had their space stations orbiting earth since 1971. These nations are working with the other nations of the world to build the international space station.
Let us now see the requirements which would have to be considered for designing of space station.