Spacelab: Research in Earth Orbit



Spacelab, designed and built by the European Space Agency (ESA) to be flown on the space shuttle, provides a laboratory environment in space. Spacelab 1, the center of attention in this volume, was flown into earth orbit in late November 1983 on the NASA space shuttle Columbia and was truly a mission that accomplished “science around the clock, around the world.” An ambitious technological undertaking by the Europeans, the building of Spacelab aroused at times considerable scientific and political passions regarding the directions of space and technological research. Spacelab 1 decisively demonstrated that a complicated project encompassing some 70 individual investigations could be designed, built, assembled, managed, and flown successfully to provide both new scientific and technological results as well as engineering information of the type required for future space research. That Spacelab 1 was a considerable success is amply testified by this volume, prepared by two British scientists who have been closely associated with European space science and technology programs for many years.