SSDW 2002

Results Pictures

Based on the demonstrated success of the SSDW team in educating students and young professionals in space systems engineering, the European Space Agency hosted the Space Station Design Workshop 2002 at ESA’s European Space Technology and Research Centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, from 17 to 22 February 2002. The workshop was supported by ESA’s Directorate of Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity, as well as by ESA’s Education Office. Project management was performed by Steinbeis Transferzentrum Raumfahrt.

This SSDW gave 30 graduate students of Aerospace Engineering and related fields from 12 European nations – selected from over 180 applicants – a unique opportunity to work on a realistic, relevant space station-related design task chosen by the Directorate of Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity. They gained invaluable first-hand experience with the conceptual design process and its associated activities in a competitive, multinational, interactive, team-centred environment.


The system design results include top-level system budget data, configuration drawings, simulations, and scale models. A public presentation of the design results and their evaluation in ESTEC’s ISS User Centre facility concluded this workshop. The SSDW 2002 also generated widespread public and media interest, thus furthering the cause of manned spaceflight.


currently envisioned “US Core Complete” configuration for the International Space Station (ISS). The primary objective of this conceptual space station redesign was to reduce the cost of final manufacturing, of assembly, and of operations, while still providing utilization opportunities similar to the original “ISS Assembly Complete” baseline. In particular, the space station should:

  1. Accommodate a permanent crew of six astronauts
  2. Facilitate microgravity research and Earth observation, and provide commercial and outreach activities
  3. Support long-term preparations for mankind’s next steps in space, human expeditions to the Moon and Mars

Most of the redesign should be implemented within a few years to support early research and utilization activities. However, the redesign should also address mid- to long-term enhancements of ISS.

The students used a modified SSDW methodology, and SSDW tools like COMET, IRIS++ and ELISSA, to design and analyze their stations.

Here is some data on the space station concepts that the two design teams proposed:

Blue Team

System Concept:

  • Crew: 6
  • Orbit: circular, 400-450 km
  • Flight Mode: earth-oriented, gravity-gradient stabilized (TEA -3.02°)
  • Impulsive reboost (option for ECLSS waste-fed CO2 resistojet for permanent reboost or CMG desaturation)
  • Launchers:
    • STS
    • resupply: Progress, ATV (Ariane 5)
    • crew transport: STS (two Soyuz for emergencies)

Space Segment Description:

ISS at “US Core Complete” plus:

  • Node 3
  • Second Soyuz
  • “InHab” inflatable TransHab-based module
  • “MMINERVA” COF-based research module

ECLSS Design and Simulation:

Major ECLSS components:

  • Water loop: VCD and Multifiltration
  • Air loop: Four-Bed Molecular Sieves, EDC, Sabatier, Electrolysis

Human Factors Issues:

Green Team

System Concept:

  • Crew of 6 starting April 2004
  • Orbit: circular, 350 – 425 km
  • Flight Mode: earth-oriented, gravity-gradient stabilized (TEA -3.32°)
  • Impulsive reboost every 65 days
  • 1700 m2 of solar arrays installed for 72 kW permanent EPS output
  • Launchers:
    • assembly: STS, Proton
    • resupply: Progress, ATV (Ariane 5)
    • crew transport: STS (+ one Soyuz for emergencies)

Space Segment Description:

ISS configuration at “US Core Complete” plus:

  • Node 3
  • FGB 2 (autonomous safe haven and emergency escape vehicle for three astronauts)
  • second ATV (providing habitability functions, launch: August 2005)
  • “GreenHab” inflatable TransHab-style module (for hydroponics research)

Assembly Sequence:

AOCS Design and Simulation:

  • Altitude envelope (min./max.) 385 – 400 km
  • Inertia tensor [10E6 kg m2]:
49.95 0.0445 2.69
53.42 2.37
  • Drag incidence surface area (min./max.): 915 m2 / 3120 m2
  • Attitude performance: TEA -3-32°
  • Reboost cycle period: 65 days


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