Author Topic: SLS as "wetlab" concept?  (Read 1319 times)

Offline sojourner

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SLS as "wetlab" concept?
« on: 01/09/2012 05:39 AM »
This may better belong in the advanced forum, but here goes.

Back in the day one of the variants of Skylab that NASA considered was the "wetlab".  Basically the internal volume was used as fuel tankage and then refurbished on orbit to habitable space.

Could a similar approach be used with SLS?  Reduce the payload on a flight enough to get the entire tank to orbit, then use that payload to carry most of the needed equipment to turn the main tanks into habitable space?  Obviously, as has been discussed before with similar ideas for shuttle external tanks, some modifications would be needed. 

Would it fill a need at all?  Be more expensive than a more traditional method?

Is the external tank as planned for SLS suited to such a use? Or is it inherently unworkable due to the method of construction and characteristics as a fuel tank?

Offline space_dreamer

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Re: SLS as "wetlab" concept?
« Reply #1 on: 01/09/2012 08:42 AM »
I think that the Biglow BA330 type modules have superseded the concept as they are made of Kevlar and don't need to be fitted out in orbit.

Offline space_dreamer

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Re: SLS as "wetlab" concept?
« Reply #2 on: 01/09/2012 08:57 AM »
Have you seen this concept from Bigelow?

The BA2100 designed to fit in the SLS v2, it would make skylab seem small. A 16 man space station in one launch.

Offline apace

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Re: SLS as "wetlab" concept?
« Reply #3 on: 01/09/2012 09:37 AM »
There are a few discussions here about the wet lab concept. But most of them and also studies by Nasa and others shows, that wet lab requires to much additional work in space as it's a viable concept. And if you have a large rocket like SLS, it's easier to build what you want at earth and lift to space ;-) wet lab was always an idea if rocket size was to small to do this.

Offline Jim

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Re: SLS as "wetlab" concept?
« Reply #4 on: 01/09/2012 12:05 PM »
Just easier to launch an outfitted ET on top of the regular one.

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