PASADENA. CALIF.--Materials scientists from several NASA-supported centers and commercial firms have developed plans to conduct research aboard the proposed industrial space facility.

In February President Reagan endorsed the concept of an orbiting facility, built with private funds, that could be launched years earlier than the space station. The space lab would offer opportunities for continuous processing and testing, with experiments tended every four to six months by astronauts arriving and departing in the space shuttle.

NASA officials originally saw the facility as a threat to their more costly manned space station, but were pushed by the White House into becoming reluctant advocates. Congressional attitudes toward the facility are divided between those who see it as a cheaper way to carry out commercial and scientific activities and those who worry that it will divert resources from a range of other space science projects.

The idea for the facility comes from Space...

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