Once the race to the Moon was over, attention could be refocused on long-range missions.
The idea of a permanently manned, international space station came into favor.
Funding was short and NASA’s first priority became the space shuttle, but in 1984, President Reagan announced in his inaugural speech that such a station would be next on the agenda.
The superstation Freedom was born.
The space station Freedom was to be built, with international cooperation, particularly between the United States, European nations, Japan, and Canada, in space before 1999.
The estimated cost was at least $25 billion.
Ultimately, a crew of four will always be on board, but each crew member will stay about 90 days.
There were many designs for the proposed international space station Freedom.
Preferred designs would allow additional structures to link permanently; would have an independent lab station that could work undisturbed by the coming and going of shuttle craft carrying passengers and equipment; and would carry a special “lifeboat” capsule for evacuation.
Transportation of the crew, supplies, equipment, and building materials will be via the space shuttle.
An “assured crew return vehicle,” probably similar to an Apollo capsule, will be a part of Freedom’s permanent structure; its purpose will be to evacuate the crew in case of an emergency.