Sharr Khan said:
Interesting considering the International Space Station is built in modules (not unlike nacelles... ect) and hauled up into space on shuttles that have consistently been built here on Terra Firma for final attachment...
Assemblying the whole thing on earth doesn't make any sense to me, and it is an insult to all the planning and thought that has gone into figuring out how to build real interplanetary spacecraft (which is kind of ironic, given that folks have mentioned the NASA/Kennedy audio in the thread), which WILL be built in orbit, out of the gravity well.
Or what spacecraft are you talking about?
With the exception of a proposal to use Saturn 5's to take a long slow trip to Mars that got killed about 36 years ago, pretty much all designs for interplanetary craft developed here and in the UK for the last several decades reflect the notion of constructing the craft in orbit. The space station is not an interplanetary vehicle.
You build a vessel that can go the distance -- from one planet to another -- and have another as a lander, that goes the last lil bit, and back up to the long hauler. I'm not pulling this out of my ass, it has been in damned near every book on space travel I've ever read, be it published by NASA or Scholastic Book Services or Time-Life. If we hadn't been in such a damned hurry on the moon race, it is much more likely we'd've built a station in orbit long ago, and then sent crews moonward from there with an orbit-to-orbit craft; that way you don't have to haul everything all the way out of the gravity well at once, and your main vessel isn't getting worn down with exposure to elements, cuz it is living in vaccuum.
More advanced stuff would come about if you did the moondozing stuff, then fired it back to earth orbit for next to nothing and did assembly using that raw material.