The International Space Station (ISS) is a great international, technological, and political achievement. It is the latest step in humankind’s quest to explore space and find ways to live in it. The outcome from the experiments that are done on the ISS can be applied in many scientific areas. It will improve our way of life on earth and give us more experience and understanding that we would need when we want to travel to other worlds.
The design of the ISS goes back a decade. All the different elements from the US, Europe and Japan where designed to be launched into orbit by the space shuttle. So the size and modularity all had to be compatible with the space shuttle. The other main thought with the design has to do with the maintainability and the possibility to easily replace the system components.
When the Russians joined the program in 1993, all their designs where to fit in with the Mir and Salyut stations they had already built earlier. They focused more on automated operation and remote control than maintainability.
The US, European and Japanese focused with their design on four basic principles: modularity, maintainability, accessibility, and the ability to reconfigure. The interior hardware racks could be easily replaced when needed. Racks had the ability to swing away from the pressure hull of the module to minimize the possibility of meteoritic puncture. Over the years the interior design has also changed because of the crews preferences. They would rather have an interior with distinct floors, ceilings and walls.
Source by Naithan Weigh