ELEO Space Hotel Concept

In this post a crude model of a space hotel/proto-ELEO space settlement is presented. Rough mass and cost estimates are included in the table at the end of the post.

This is for brain storming purposes only, not a final design. Thoughtful feedback is always welcomed.

In this first image we see an overview of the space hotel, located in 500 km ELEO. The summary statistic are in the image.

  • Dark blue panels = solar arrays
  • Sky blue boxy modules = 3d printed habs
  • Golden cylindrical modules = a different type of 3d printed hab
  • Red boxes = service modules
  • Purple boxes on ring = elevator ‘docks’
  • Purple boxes on spokes = pressurized elevators going back and forth between hub and ring
  • Purple central module = rotating hub
  • Hollow gray cylinder at top = 3D printer factory w solar panel ‘skirt’
  • Green boxy module = docking module with barely-visible robotic arms attached

Mass estimates are based on comparable ISS hardware. For example, to calculate the mass of the truss ring (the ring to which all modules are attached along the circumference) I researched the mass of the S0 truss (14000 kg for 13.4 meters in length resulting in 1045 kg per meter of length).  Then I calculated the length (circumference) of the truss ring and multiplied that by 1045 kg to get the total mass of the truss ring. I used similar comparisons for all components, solar panels compared to ISS Solar Array Wing, gold colored modules compared to Bigelow BA330 modules, etc.

All mass estimates have an extra 10 percent margin.

Here we see a view from ‘below’ the station.  The brown panels are radiators/thermal management system components.

FYI Gravity estimates calculated using SpinCalc.

Note the station is modular and is not finished in this image. Population capacity in the pictured configuration is estimated to be 40. Total capacity once all modules are added around the rim is estimated to be 100, as indicated in the picture.

A closer view of the hub. The robotic arm can relocate (“walk”) itself around the station, like the robot arm on the ISS today.

And here are the rough mass estimates. Note I assume gun launcher technology is available to send feedstock to orbit and that 3D printer technology has advanced to the point that all the mass of the rotating parts of the station can be built in orbit. It is more likely that advanced components (electronics, etc.) will have to be boosted up from earth. However, it is fair to assume that the most massive parts of the station (structural, pressure hull, electrical and thermal components) can be built using advanced 3d printers because these massive parts are relatively simple (unlike an integrated circuit, for example).

What do you think about all this?