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First, the point must be made that this nation desperately needs a space station if it is to maintain any legitimate claim to being a spacefaring nation. Unfortunately, the type space station that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will ultimately put up will probably not be the one best suited to our needs, and it most definitely will not be the most cost-effective one. I disagree with L. H. Meredith's assertion (statement letter in Eos, September 29, 1987) that there is no role in the space station for microgravity research and manufacturing. However, he hit the nail on the head by saying that its main justification would be in providing “a required step toward the manned exploration of the Solar System.”