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In this question, as to whether Reuse of fuel tanks as habitats is possible, it's mentioned that there were plans to do this for Skylab and for the Shuttle tanks.

However this is asking specifically about the feasibility of doing this on SpaceX's Starship. Per this diagram, made by Tom Dixon and Austin Barnard:

enter image description here

Usage of the LOX and Methane tank would more than double the habitable volume, giving a total volume greater than 1.5x of the ISS.

Is is possible, while in space, to disassemble the common dome and header tanks and use the tanks as living areas? This includes venting all fuel, as well as working inside the ship, parts of which must remain pressurised.

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First off, I am only answering here as I can't comment. However, feel free to comment and we can discuss this in further depth. The most likely issue would be that from my understanding the main methane and LOX tanks aren't pressurized while the header tanks are. However, since the tanks are tested if you were to find a way to pressurize the empty tank with air, it could likely be transformed into a larger pressurized space. However, I don't see how this could be accomplished within the ship without releasing the pressurized atmosphere of the crew section and would likely require the assistance of another starship. It may not be practical however to do so as the tanks from my understanding are completely enclosed and not meant to be disassembled. That means that either the design would need to be changed, perhaps by adding some form of a hatch, as if not heavy machinery would be required to cut open the tank.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the answer. Interesting idea about using another Starship. I suppose if the intended station went up unpressurised, and EVAs were done from a second ship, you could use additional tools to cut open the tanks. $\endgroup$
    – Freddie R
    May 13 at 3:11
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt the required machinery would be that heavy, the tanks are just 1.5mm stainless, something an angle grinder(probably modified heavily for microgravity and safety) could go straight through. $\endgroup$ May 13 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah definitely, however making sure that it can still be pressurized may be an issue, maybe with a rubber insert? $\endgroup$
    – Lucas
    May 13 at 12:59

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