Using Drained Spacecraft Propellant Tanks for Habitation

A document proposes that future spacecraft for planetary and space exploration be designed to enable reuse of drained propellant tanks for occupancy by humans. This proposal would enable utilization of volume and mass that would otherwise be unavailable and, in some cases, discarded. Such utilization could enable reductions in cost, initial launch mass, and number of launches needed to build up a habitable outpost in orbit about, or on the surface of, a planet or moon. According to the proposal, the large propellant tanks of a spacecraft would be configured to enable crews to gain access to their interiors.

The spacecraft would incorporate hatchways, between a tank and the crew volume, that would remain sealed while the tank contained propellant and could be opened after the tank was purged by venting to outer space and then refilled with air. The interior of the tank would be pre-fitted with some habitation fixtures that were compatible with the propellant environment. Electrical feed-throughs, used originally for gauging propellants, could be reused to supply electric power to equipment installed in the newly occupied space. After a small amount of work, the tank would be ready for long-term use as a habitation module.

This work was done by Andrew S. W. Thomas of Johnson Space Center.MSC-24236-1

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).

Using Drained Spacecraft Propellant Tanks for Habitation (reference MSC-24236-1) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

Please Login at the top of the page to download.


White Papers

High Precision Multi-channel PXIe Systems Realize More Efficient Wind Tunnel Testing
Sponsored by Adlink
Fundamentals of Vector Network Analysis Primer
Sponsored by Rohde and Schwarz
One Component Epoxies: Versatility and Convenience
Sponsored by master bond
The Benefits of Integrated Video Management
Sponsored by Curtiss Wright
Roller Pinion System: An Alternative to Traditional Linear Drive Systems
Sponsored by nexen
Antenna Basics
Sponsored by rohde and schwarz a and d

White Papers Sponsored By: