Hermann Oberth published Die Rakete zu den Planetenraumen (The Rocket into Planetary Space), which contained the first serious proposal for a manned space station to appear in scientific literature rather than fiction. Oberth's study presented to the scientific community a broad treatise on the practicability and scientific value not only of manned permanent stations in orbit above the Earth, but also space flight in general. Oberth suggested a permanent station supplied by smaller rockets on a periodic basis and suggested rotation of the vehicle to produce an artificial gravity for the crew. Such a station, he said, could serve as a base for Earth observations, as a weather forecasting satellite, as a communications satellite, and as a refueling station for extraterrestrial vehicles launched from orbit.
Hermann Noordung (the pseudonym for Captain Potocnik of the Austrian Imperial Army) published Das Problem der Befahrung des Weltraums (The Problem of Space Flight), which included one of the first serious attempts to put on paper the design of a manned space station. Noordung's proposed design consisted of a doughnut-shaped structure for living quarters, a power generating station attached to one end of the central hub, and an astronomical observation station. He was among the first to suggest a wheel-shaped design for a space station to produce artificial gravity, and also argued the scientific value of such a station in a synchronous orbit above the Earth.
Writing in the monthly journal Die Rakete, Baron Guido von Pirquet presented broad arguments in favor of the scientific possibility of manned space travel and the velocities required for orbital and interplanetary flight, of which orbital speed was by far the more difficult to attain. Von Pirquet suggested several different space stations for diverse functions: one in a near-Earth orbit as primarily an observation site and another station in a much higher orbit that would be more suitable as an orbital refueling station for escape vehicles.
Hermann Oberth published Wege zur Raumschiffahrt, in which he greatly elaborated on ideas presented in his 1923 book. Oberth here presented several specific designs for orbital space stations, ranging from spherical living quarters for the crew to large reflective mirrors fabricated in orbit. Among several innovations were methods for fabrication in orbit, propulsion by particle emission, and small ferry vehicles to permit travel in the vicinity of the station. Such stations could be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from scientific observation sites to military installations.