|Trust no one. Image credit: unknown|
I've been engaged in the blogging equivalent of spring cleaning since Monday. I hadn't planned on doing this. Over the weekend, however, I discovered I'd made an error in interpretation that propagated across several posts. I had, for reasons passing understanding, come to believe that the Phase B Extension Space Station studies McDonnell and North American Rockwell performed in 1971-1972 had begun in June 1970. Phase B studies were indeed extended at that time; however, the Phase B Extension studies were something different. They started officially on 1 February 1971 and continued into late 1972.
The Phase B studies looked at single-launch core Station designs and then shifted to include Shuttle-launched modular designs; the Phase B Extension studies studied Shuttle-launched modular designs and shifted to include the "sortie lab" concept, which led to the European-built module we called Spacelab. The transition from one proposed Station concept to the next was not, however, tidy: as John Logsdon notes in his report Space Stations: A Policy History, written for NASA Johnson Space Center, NASA was in September 1970 holding workshops to educate potential users about the potential of the 33-foot-diameter Saturn V-launched core station, preparing a Statement of Work and performing in-house studies in support of the Shuttle-launched modular Station study, and preparing budget recommendations that turned the Space Station Program into a mere advanced program study for the foreseeable future.
I have repaired the damage. Along the way I discovered some other errors. Most were mere typos, but one was a howler. Did I really type that? I think my brain must have wandered off while my fingers performed a modern interpretive dance on my keyboard.
I read through all 104 posts on this blog and made corrections when I found errors. I think my spring cleaning is done now. If, however, any of you notice anything that you suspect is an error, please let me know.
Space Stations: A Policy History, John M. Logsdon, Graduate Program in Science, Technology, and Public Policy, NASA Johnson Space Center, no date (1980), p. II-32