- Aug 14, 2009
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The Space Operations Center was proposed by NASA’s Johnson Spaceflight Center in 1979. Like most other space station studies from the mid/late 1970s its primary mission was the assembly and servicing of large spacecraft in Earth orbit -- not science.
NASA/JSC signed a contract with Boeing in 1980 to further develop the design. [Second image] illustration is from 1981. Like most NASA space station plans, SOC would be assembled in orbit from modules launched on the Space Shuttle. The Shuttle depicted here delivers a resupply module for the SOC crew; the tour of duty would have been 90 days.
[Third image] Closeup of the SOC pressurized crew modules. The box like structure (top) contains a space tug for missions to geostationary orbit. NASA originally estimated the total cost to be $2.7 billion, but the estimated cost had increased to $4.7 billion by 1981. SOC would have been operational by 1990.
[Fourth image] Boeing’s Space Operations Center habitation module.
Triton said:Text by Marcus Lindroos of the late Space pages.