8
$\begingroup$

Double Deck Aeroplane

Similar to double deck Aeroplane, can a double deck crewed mission spacecraft be designed and constructed?

Benefits: More astronauts in the manned mission spacecraft viz Mars, Moon, Jupiter etc.

$\endgroup$
5
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ The space shuttle had three decks. space.stackexchange.com/a/51656/6944 $\endgroup$ Apr 6 at 4:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Starship may have many more than two decks: techeblog.com/elon-musk-spacex-starship-interior $\endgroup$ Apr 6 at 10:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ While the Shuttle did have three decks, I would note that the lowermost one was more of a storage / equipment bay, it wasn't really a crew area. $\endgroup$
    – ikrase
    Apr 16 at 21:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think once in zero gravity, a door or hatch can be considered a deck $\endgroup$
    – qq jkztd
    Apr 17 at 2:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @ikrase that's probably why it was called the Lower Equipment Bay. $\endgroup$ Apr 18 at 1:34

1 Answer 1

17
$\begingroup$

Yes. They can be designed. Big Gemini was a seven-person capsule design that took a two-seat Gemini capsule:

enter image description here

(Note: this image shows both the capsule (the black part) and the service module (the white part). The service module was not pressurized (when it got to space, there was vacuum inside it) and people did not go there.)

And put a second (and, depending on how you count decks, a third!) deck of seats below it.

enter image description here

enter image description here

(Note: while this looks similar to the above photo, these images do NOT show the service module, and the Big G(emini) extension is both pressurized & used to carry people. Below is an image that does show the cylindrical service module for Big G. It is so large, there's even a part that people can go into for experiments & more room to move around. They get there through a pressurized tube connecting it to the main capsule decks.)

enter image description here

After they were in space, the astronauts would be able to move between the decks using a hatch cut into the bottom of the "Little" Gemini capsule part.

While the vehicle was never built (we went straight to Apollo instead), mockups were made and some of the technologies (could you cut a hole in a heatshield safely?) were tested in the Air Force's related, also-ultimately-cancelled "MOL" program.

While they were on the pad, the first two astronauts would be above the other five--forming two vertical decks.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Meanwhile, the Shuttle (which was very much built) had 3 decks. People rode to space on both of the top two decks. People moved between them using a ladder. Below is a cutaway of the nose of the shuttle, which contained the main pressurized crew portion.

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
4
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks Anton. Do you feel by the double / triple deck design this can surpass maximum 12 astronauts on the international space station(ISS)? I mean future Spacecrafts for manned missions designed and constructed with double deck model. $\endgroup$ Apr 6 at 6:41
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @PrashantAkerkar the limit on ISS habitation is not space but getting enough air,food,water and propellant to them. If you can ship enough supplies up and/or get better recycling you can support more people, in whatever shape is convenient. $\endgroup$ Apr 6 at 9:26
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hi Prashant. The main issue about keeping people in space, as Gremlin noted, isn't having enough space for them, but keeping them alive. In fact, because you can move in all 3 dimensions in microgravity, what might seem like a cramped design on earth is plenty of room when you can float around in it. Installing decks doesn't do much to give you more space in microgravity, as it just divides up that room to float. You don't need a deck if you don't need to walk around. I'm sure we'll see double or triple deck spaceplanes and space capsules in the future, however! $\endgroup$ Apr 6 at 19:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GremlinWranger Addtionally, escape-capacity. Every person on ISS needs a seat to get out should something go wrong, so there can be no more on board than places on return vehicles. $\endgroup$
    – Criggie
    Apr 6 at 21:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.