Space station modules are cramped. Very cramped. And they stay that way forever. If one day you decide you want a nice new kitchen, you can’t just knock through a wall and extend into the garden. To alleviate this problem, and to make it easier to add newer equipment to older modules over time, NASA and other agencies have adopted the International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR). The use of the ISPR means that anyone can design a new piece of equipment and know for sure that it will fit on board, so long as they follow the standard measurements.
Space Station Continuum makes use of a similar system for arranging Interior Equipment. This Dev Blog will show you how it works.
When planning a new Module for your station, you’re presented with a “ghost” image of that Module showing where it will go.
You can then drag-and-drop various items from the Interior Equipment menu into your planned module. When you do, you’ll see Equipment Racks appearing on the rear wall of the Module to show you where that particular item will fit. Clicking on a location you’re happy with will add the Equipment to the Launch Manifest.
External Equipment, such as Solar Panels, can be added in the same way.
When the Module is launched into orbit, any Equipment added to the plan will have been pre-installed on the ground.
But sometimes you’ll want to add new Equipment to Modules that are already in orbit. This is an area where your Astronauts can be put to work.
When planning a new launch, Internal Equipment can be added to existing Modules in exactly the same way it’s added to planned Modules.
The new Equipment will be included in the cargo hold of the Command Module that comes up with the next launch. One of your Astronauts will then carry it to its planned location and install it in an Equipment Rack.
Standard Modules contain a 4×2 grid of possible Rack locations. At the beginning of the game most Equipment needs only a 1×1 space, with Beds and Zero Gravity Toilets being a couple of exceptions needing a 1×2 space.
But what about Equipment that won’t fit inside a 4×2 space? For that you’ll need bigger Modules, and those don’t come until much later…