30 years ago, the Americans dreamed of building a permanently manned space station, the Power Tower. What happened? Space stations are the future In Science Illustrated No. 10/1985, the first manned US space station – or at least its design – was introduced. According to plan, the first modules of the Power Tower, which the station is called, were to be launched in 1992. Complete with private rooms for six astronauts, the 100m-long and 150-tonne space station was supposed to be ready for use in 1994.