I know it may sound silly but my consideration is to reduce costs due to the amount of metal used in standard space ships. Wood/bamboo for framing and clay around it, that is it for the hull.

I'm NOT considering it to be launched from Earth nor worried about reentry, it is built for space only. I'm thinking of something that can be assembled/molded in space and with an engine it could be launched in some direction and travel.

A very important part is if it is able to hold air inside for the crew to breath. Otherwise it would only be useful for cargo from station A to station B.

I searched for articles about clay usage in space but could not find anything relevant, also I don't know what happens to clay in very low temperatures.

Certainly the crew should not be letting water hit the internal side of clay walls as it would be absorbed and with a chance to became mud, or is it not?

Also not worried about space debris as I think metal ships would have the same problems.

Would the clay crackle? Would we need to put the whole ship inside an over after molding or would it be better to leave the clay in a more malleable form?

What if there is a hole in the clay hull? Would a ball of clay be able to close it?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ How about worldbuilding stack exchange? This seems pretty far removed from real space exploration. $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2021 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ I see, thanks for the heads up. I was really wondering if it would be possible in the real life, not just some book history. I'll check better if I did it in the wrong forum and remove the question later. $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2021 at 18:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sounds like this should be on Worldbuilding with the "hard-science" tag: "Requires answers backed up by equations, empirical evidence, scientific papers, other citations, etc." $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2021 at 19:07
  • $\begingroup$ Not that silly: huld.io/insights/news/…. I think I heard of another similar idea to launch a wooden sat some time ago, not sure if it was actually done. Today's space is all about reliability and spending a lot of money so that not all invested money ends up wasted. Tomorrow's space might be different, and this type of stuff might be economically OK. Though adoption of it certainly will not be easy. But also, not not silly. $\endgroup$
    – Nemanja
    Apr 14, 2021 at 20:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Where do you find wood in space? $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2021 at 21:05


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.