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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)?.

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

  • This question does not appear to be about physics within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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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
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Inflatable sphere component would give you most space

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  • $\begingroup$ 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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