Having read some of the other answers and seeing that there is a theoretical maximum on payload with current technology, what would be the optimum dimensions of a space launch vehicle if all you wanted to do was use the empty shell to increase space on the International Space Station (i.e. no satellites, no astronauts, no re-entry capability, just an empty shell)?.


closed as off-topic by dmckee Feb 17 '14 at 15:00

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    $\begingroup$ Would space.SE be a better home for this question? $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Feb 17 '14 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is about space craft rather than physics. The Space Exploration mods turned this down as being difficult to understand in its present form. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Feb 17 '14 at 15:00

Inflatable sphere component would give you most space

  • $\begingroup$ For stability/usefulness purposes, I doubt an inflatable component would be good, but likely a collapsible component could be good. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Feb 17 '14 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ @TildalWave: I had completely forgotten about Bigelow, and they use inflatable to describe their modules. I suppose I think of inflatable as filling with air, like a balloon, and not collapsible/expandable like (I think) they intend. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Feb 17 '14 at 16:07

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