Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on Space Station Freedom


July 18, 1988


The President today announced that the permanently manned space station being developed by the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan will carry the name Freedom. The name Freedom was recommended by a team of NASA representatives and international partners. The yearning for freedom is a basic human emotion, and freedom of the individual is a value shared by all the nations that will work together to build and use the space station.


In a literal sense, the space station will provide freedom from the confines of Earth's gravity, enabling scientific and technological research, new commercial uses of space, and opening the way for continued human exploration of space. The name was selected from more than 700 suggestions sent to NASA from its employees, its contractors, the international partners, and the general public.


The name Freedom is tied to the President's earliest statements on the program. When the President announced his decision to build a space station in his January 1984 State of the Union Address, he noted that he was inviting our friends and allies to join us so ``we can strengthen peace, build prosperity, and expand freedom for all who share our goals.''


Space station Freedom will consist of three laboratory modules -- one each from the United States, Europe, and Japan -- and a habitat module that will accommodate a full-time crew of eight. Canada will provide a mobile servicing center to help assemble and maintain the manned base. Earth-observing unmanned polar-orbiting platforms provided by the United States and Europe are also part of the Freedom program.


Freedom is planned to be launched aboard the space shuttle and assembled in orbit beginning in 1995. It will provide a versatile research laboratory for conducting science, developing new technologies, exploring the solar system, and stimulating private sector investment in space.