The present planning for the construction of a manned space station calls for modular construction in space over a period of several years with each module having different dynamic characteristics and attitude control requirements. Several of the modules will be best modeled as distributed (flexible) bodies. It is necessary that the attitude control system be capable of providing appropriate attitude control to a suitable accuracy for the individual modules at all times during the construction. This plus the extreme flexibility pose far more difficult problems to the attitude control designer than in previous spacecraft. In spite of this, the author believes that the design techniques for past spacecraft will be used as the starting point for the attitude control system of the space station. The new theories for flexible control systems will probably be used in computer simulations for preflight validation of the control system design. Substantial improvements in the attitude control will more than likely come from new mechanical designs for actuators, intersections between modules, and passive dampers.

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