According to the space station Freedom wikipedia page and this reddit thread, a dual keel structure would have been more stable than the final ISS design. Can someone explain why? And if a gravity gradient is the answer, then why is the ISS truss not oriented along the nadir/zenith axis?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Right in the wikipedia article it says that the dual keel has the advantage of gravity gradient stabilization (they call it "tidal") and of placing the lab module(s) near the center of mass for better microgravity. I think this explains it pretty well. The same article says that the original plan was to build the transverse truss first as phase 1 and add the keels later, but the budget was cut. $\endgroup$ May 31, 2016 at 1:56
  • $\begingroup$ I'd advocate for @OrganicMarble's comment to become an answer. $\endgroup$ Aug 29, 2019 at 7:37


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.