Methods and apparatus are provided for a single heavy-lift launch to place a complete, operational space station on-orbit. A payload including the space station takes the place of a shuttle orbiter using the launch vehicle of the shuttle orbiter. The payload includes a forward shroud, a core module, a propulsion module, and a transition module between the core module and the propulsion module. The essential subsystems are preintegrated and verified on Earth. The core module provides means for attaching international modules with minimum impact to the overall design. The space station includes six control moment gyros for selectably operating in either LVLH (local-vertical local-horizontal) or SI (solar inertial) flight modes.