Astronauts living and working in space rely on the International Space Station as their port of call. The iconic ISS is a modern engineering triumph, zipping around the Earth every 90 minutes at a height of 200 miles above the surface. Its construction required careful coordination between nearly a dozen countries working through five space agencies.
Yet the history of space station design is littered with concepts – some elegant, some strange, and some remarkably cute – that were passed over for one reason or another. Take a look at some space station ideas that didn’t quite make it off the drawing board.