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Launching a SPACEHAB Module

SPACEHAB module specifications:

    Height            11.2  ft  (bottom to top; not diameter)
    Length             9.2  ft
    Volume            1100  cu ft
    Payload weight    4800  lb (max, including support structure)
    Module weight    ~2500  lb (empty)
    Power             3150  watts
    Heat rejection    4000  watts

Note that the SPACEHAB module is a cylinder that's lopped off at the top. There's a reason for the flat top; it provides the Shuttle crew an EVA access route to all the payload bay door latches.

So, for the lunar habitat, after we've filled the floor with stowage lockers and stuff, figure we'd have an open space about 8 feet high, 28 feet long (triple module, inside dimensions) and 14 feet wide.

The limiting factor on the total weight (6300 lbs max) must be Shuttle launch and landing constraints. If SPACEHAB is in the front quarter of the payload bay, its max payload capacity is 3000 lbs instead of 4800 lbs. In our case, "payload" is whatever outfitting we want for the lunar transfer vehicle or the lunar habitat. If we use a different launcher (a Titan IV, for example), we might be able to get more mass into the SPACEHAB volume, although at the moment we haven't figured out what to do with the extra launch weight if we had it. (For the lunar transfer vehicle, that is; we can always carry more weight on the lunar habitat if we can figure out a way to get it to the surface.)

Another advantage of the Titan IV is that it has no problem putting a 65,000 lb payload into low Earth oribt.

SPACEHAB rides in the Shuttle payload bay attached to the outer hatch of the airlock by the Spacelab tunnel adaptor. The Spacelab tunnel adaptor is 9.6 ft long, and looks like it would make a nice little airlock for our moonship.

And for the Shuttle . . .

The nominal payload envelope is 15 feet diameter by 60 feet long. In practical use, the 15 feet is OK, but payloads need to provide about a 5-foot corridor near the front bulkhead so the crew can get out the airlock hatch. Also, if your payload prevents access to those door latches, it has to be jettisonable.


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