U.S. Space Station (1958)
About the Design
This was another blatant Von Braun rip-off, borrowing heavily from the good doctor's space station as featured in Collier's magazine circa 1953. Like the original Von Braun design, Lindberg's version was a wheel that rotated to produce artificial gravity (side-mounted rockets controlled the rate of spin) and generated electricity by using solar energy to vaporize mercury which was then run through small turbines.
One of the few original features of this design was its hub-mounted "space taxi" pad and the little shuttles designed to ferry passengers between the station and passing space ships.
About the Kit
The Lindberg Line first released this kit as simply the "U.S. Space Station" in 1958. In the 1960's it was the "Mars Probe Space Station," then the "Star Probe Space Base" in the 1970s. The original 1958 version featured clear red-tinted plastic portholes; by the '60s, these had become less expensive opaque pieces, although still molded in red.
The kit was also released by Lindberg in the mid-1950s as part of a five-part "Spaceships of the Future" collector's set.
Under the ownership of Round 2, Lindberg re-released the station as part of a Space Base two-pack along with the Orbital Transport Rocket.
This model is from the 1970's "Star Probe" release.