NASA Space Station Freedom Modules at Marshall Space Flight Center, 1992
These modules were part of Space Station Freedom; An American initiative started during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan to build and maintain a permanently manned and orbiting space station. Cost over runs and the U.S. debt crisis of the 1980s necessitated annual redesigns between 1990 and 1993. The dissolution of the USSR allowed NASA to negotiate a new, joint agreement with Russia that eventually would involve the cooperation of fourteen Nations to build and maintain what is now called “The International Space Station” This painting was done in 1992 when it was still called “Space Station Freedom” In fact my last project for NASA was to be a depiction of Space Station Freedom in Earth’s orbit, with a shuttle docking and astronauts doing space walks (EVAs) I was just beginning work on it when I got the call that Space Station Freedom had been cancelled. It was at this same time that Bob Schulman (then NASA art director) asked me to go with him and another artist to the Soviet Union’s Space Center as part of a US/Soviet Artist exchange. I was to go on the second round. The first round he took several other artists with him. I was disappointed upon his return because apparently they all got very sick over there, conditions in Russia were very poor and deteriorating fast so Bob vowed not to return. Very soon there after the Soviet Union collapsed.