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Spacehab
Part of ISS Family

Spacehab

Spacehab
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos

American manned space station module. Spacehab, Inc was founded by Bob Citron in 1982 in Houston. It was the only entrepreneurial company of the 1900's to successfully develop a commercial manned spaceflight module.

Status: Operational 1993. First Launch: 1993-06-21. Last Launch: 1999-05-27. Number: 14 . Gross mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Height: 3.00 m (9.80 ft). Span: 4.50 m (14.70 ft).

Spacehab was initially formed to develop a 5000 kg pressurized module derived from ESA's Spacelab. The 3 meter long Spacehab module was carried inside the Shuttle cargo bay and provides 28.3 cubic meters of expanded habitable space for experiments and logistics transport to space stations.

NASA agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding in December 1985, but its agreement with the European Space Agency prevented it from using competitive systems such as Spacehab's before 1989.

Consequently, the company signed contracts with the main European Spacelab contractors (MBB/ERNO and Aeritalia) to take a share in Spacehab as well as serve as prime contractors. By 1986 some $1 million had been spent on the project and the company initiated negotiations with NASA, claiming some 350 customers had expressed interest in using the module. NASA turned down a request from Spacehab for Shuttle launches on a deferred payment basis in 1987, and also briefly considered canceling other commercial agreements with Space Industries Inc. and 3M as well. The agency informed Spacehab that no launches would be available before 1995 since the Shuttle was extremely overbooked following the Challenger accident. Spacehab then tried to sign up priority customers such as the Defense Department which would have forced NASA to assign Spacehab to an earlier flight. However, President Reagan's National Space Policy from February 1988 specifically ordered NASA to 'make best efforts' to launch Spacehab's $65-70 million cargo module on the Shuttle in the early 1990s. Federal regulations required NASA to open the expansion module to competition but Spacehab provided the only response by the 30 April 1990 deadline. NASA then agreed in principle to launch six commercial Spacehab flights by 1995, but the company initially found it difficult to raise capital.

Spacehab finally signed a contract with NASA in December 1990 to lease two-thirds of the payload space for $184 million. An important mission was hardware tests for Space Station Freedom; the module could carry up to four Space Station-type experiment racks. NASA agreed to launch Spacehab eight times at a cost of $28.2 million per flight. More than $20 million had already been spent on the project by this time, and Chase Manhattan Bank agreed to provide a further $75 million after Spacehab offered to buy insurance if Congress cancelled the project. The company paid a 20% premium. Spacehab was almost cancelled in January 1992 when the House and Senate panels with NASA oversight indicated Congress only would pay $25 million in 1992 and $35 million in 1993. NASA had requested $39 million and $50 million, respectively. The House and Senate reached a compromise in March which allocated a $40 million budget for Spacehab in Fiscal Year 1992, and the investors (who had spent $44 million at that point plus another $50 million borrowed from Chase Manhattan Bank) said they were satisfied with the project's progress.

The company then unveiled its first Spacehab module in May 1992. The partners expected to make a profit after six flights, which had been bought by NASA in 1990. Under the agreement, Spacehab bought launch services from NASA and leased capacity to users for $1.76 million per experiment locker. Each module had 50 lockers and a dedicated flight thus costs $79.8 million. The first flight took place in June 1993, but with 98% of the facility occupied by experiments managed and paid for by NASA.

The company also investigated concepts other than the basic augmented Shuttle module, including Spacehab expansion modules for the Space Station. In 1986, Spacehab estimated a basic module would cost $15 million, rising to $40 million for a not-yet-approved advanced model that would have contained thermal control and augmented power and life support systems. The total cost of three basic modules was to be $50 million and Spacehab proposed a first mission in 1988 followed by three in 1989 and four in 1990. Proposed missions included Space Station technology testing and augmented 'construction shack' living quarters for assembly workers. NASA's problems with the Shuttle and Space Station forced the company to delay its first launch until 1994 while the space station module had to be cancelled.

NASA signed a $54-million contract with Spacehab Inc. in August 1995 for Shuttle/Mir logistics flights. The deciding factor was Spacehab's faster turnaround between missions. Spacehab remained an active participant in the Shuttle/International Space Station program. The company proposed a new $30-40 million docking/logistics double module that would make it possible for the Shuttle to reboost the Space Station by 16 km per docking as opposed to just 4.8 kilometers. Spacehab was also collaborating with Russia on a commercial 'Enterprise' laboratory module.

Article by Marcus Lindroos



Family: Space station module, Space station orbit, USA - Space Stations. Country: USA. Spacecraft: ISS, Mir, Spacehab, ISS Commercial Enterprise Module, Apex RV, CEV Spacehab. Flights: STS-57, STS-77, STS-95. Launch Vehicles: Space Shuttle. Projects: STS. Launch Sites: Cape Canaveral, Cape Canaveral LC39A, Cape Canaveral LC39B. Agency: NASA Houston. Bibliography: 2, 276, 279, 4.
Photo Gallery

SpacehabSpacehab
Shuttle/Spacehab rendezvous with the Mir space station.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos


SpacehabSpacehab
Spacehab expansion modules for the Space Station.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos



1993 June 21 - . 13:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab SH-01 - . Payload: Spacehab 1. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1993-07-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 22684 . COSPAR: 1993-037xx. Apogee: 472 km (293 mi). Perigee: 391 km (242 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 93.20 min.

1994 February 3 - . 12:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP3. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab SH-02 - . Payload: Spacehab 2. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1994-02-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 22977 . COSPAR: 1994-006xx. Apogee: 359 km (223 mi). Perigee: 350 km (210 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 91.60 min.

1995 February 3 - . 05:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab SH-03 - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1995-02-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 23469 . COSPAR: 1995-004xx. Apogee: 390 km (240 mi). Perigee: 386 km (239 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.30 min.

1996 March 22 - . 08:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab-SM - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Flight: Soyuz TM-23, STS-76, STS-76 Mir NASA-1. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1996-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 23831 . COSPAR: 1996-018xx. Apogee: 398 km (247 mi). Perigee: 34 km (21 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 88.80 min.

1996 May 19 - . 10:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab 4 - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1996-05-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 23870 . COSPAR: 1996-032xx. Apogee: 285 km (177 mi). Perigee: 274 km (170 mi). Inclination: 39.0000 deg. Period: 90.10 min.

1996 September 16 - . 08:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab Double Module - . Payload: Spacehab FU2/STA. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1996-09-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 24324 . COSPAR: 1996-057xx. Apogee: 386 km (239 mi). Perigee: 368 km (228 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.10 min. Remained attached to OV-104.

1997 January 12 - . 09:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab Double Module - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1997-01-22 . USAF Sat Cat: 24711 . COSPAR: 1997-001xx. Apogee: 380 km (230 mi). Perigee: 343 km (213 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.80 min.

1997 May 15 - . 08:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab Double Module - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1997-05-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 24804 . COSPAR: 1997-023xx. Apogee: 393 km (244 mi). Perigee: 377 km (234 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 92.20 min.

1997 September 26 - . 02:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab Double Module - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1997-10-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 24964 . COSPAR: 1997-055xx. Apogee: 381 km (236 mi). Perigee: 354 km (219 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.90 min. Remained attached to OV-104.

1998 January 23 - . 02:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP3. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab Double Module - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. COSPAR: 1998-003xx.

1998 June 2 - . 22:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. Launch Platform: MLP1. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab - . Payload: Spacehab FU1. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. COSPAR: 1998-034xx.
  • Spacehab - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Mir. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1998-06-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 25356 . COSPAR: 1998-034xx. Apogee: 373 km (231 mi). Perigee: 350 km (210 mi). Inclination: 51.7000 deg. Period: 91.80 min.

1998 October 29 - . 19:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab - . Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Manufacturer: Douglas. Program: STS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. Decay Date: 1981-04-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 25519 . COSPAR: 1998-064xx. Apogee: 560 km (340 mi). Perigee: 550 km (340 mi). Inclination: 28.4000 deg. Period: 95.75 min.

1999 May 27 - . 10:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. Launch Platform: MLP2. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle.
  • Spacehab-DM - . Payload: Spacehab-DM. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: ISS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned space laboratory. Spacecraft Bus: ISS. Spacecraft: Spacehab. COSPAR: 1999-030x.


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