space station noun
: a large spacecraft in which people live for long periods of time in order to do research and experiments
: a large artificial satellite designed to be occupied for long periods and to serve as a base (as for scientific observation) —called also space platform
First Known Use of SPACE STATION
Rhymes with SPACE STATION
, C ration
, earth station
, gas station
, way station
space station noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Manned artificial structure designed to revolve in a fixed orbit as a long-term base for astronomical observations, study of Earth's resources and environment, military reconnaissance, and investigations of materials and biological systems in weightless conditions. As of 2001, nine space stations have been placed in a low Earth orbit and occupied for varying lengths of time. The Soviet Union orbited the world's first space station, Salyut 1, designed for scientific studies, in 1971. From 1974 to 1982 five more Salyut stationstwo outfitted for military reconnaissancewere successfully placed in orbit and occupied. In 1986 the U.S.S.R. launched the core module of Mir, a scientific station that was expanded with five additional modules over the next decade. The U.S. orbited its first space station in 1973; called Skylab, it was equipped as a solar observatory and medical laboratory. In 1998 the U.S. and Russia began the in-orbit construction of the International Space Station (ISS), a complex of laboratory and habitat modules that would ultimately involve contributions from at least 16 countries. In 2000 the ISS received its first resident crew.
Soviet/Russian space station Mir, after completion in 1996. The date shown for each module is its
—Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
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