Originally Posted by NCC-73515
"We've been there". I so agree. There is much more that we can do with a station in LEO. The moon is still there for us to go there in the future. This station was the next logical step.
I feel that it should have been the step before going to the moon, though there was a pretty darned good station, along with it's un-launched twin, in the 70's that should/could have been the start of a basic station almost 30 years before the ISS. I realize that the Shuttles development gave us good technological knowledge, but that same might have been developed over time by a need to gradually modify/upgrade the basic Apollo/Saturn configurations that used Skylab. A (smaller) more adaptable shuttle could have come from such advances, while keeping the original (basic) configuration of the station. Remember, apart from the initial problems encountered at it's launch, the original Skylab was sent up in one launch. The second could have been sent up with modifications to prevent the repetition of the first ones mechanical failures. Even with them, the station apparently returned much more data per astronaut hour than the ISS, which kept the earlier 3 man crew to mostly station keeping and repair until the crew was increased to 6. (Rant, Rant, Rant) Sorry for that!