PROPOSAL FOR A TERRESTRIAL TRANSHAB
In 1998, the NASA proposed to build an inflatable module, transhab, for the International Space Station (ISS) This program has been stopped by the american government who alleged that the NASA was working with this technology to prepare the future inhabited missions to the Moon and Mars.
Test of inflating of a prototype of Transhab
The inflatable skin of transhab is made of sixteen layers of Kevlar, Vectran and Nextel-on-foam.
Transhab surpass NASA safety requirements. Its outer shell is bullet proof vest; it is cheaper to build, safer to live in, stronger than steel, easier to take care and so lightweight it can be launched fully equipped in a single shuttle station.
Two windows allow cosmonauts to look at the Earth from the exercise bike or the table where the crew is eating.
We can imagine transhab like a prefiguration of the hollow planets that men will use to explore galaxies in one or two centuries.
Fuller’s dome for NYC / Electric neurocircuit / TranshabWaterproofness of Transhab
With the beginning of space exploration we became aware that Earth and its bio-system are delicate.
HOW CAN WE INHABIT EARTH TODAY?
Even if conditions of living on Earth are much more pleasant and less extreme than in space, cities’ environment is debasing and becoming more and more aggressive. Examining a satellite photo of a european city, we can see scars digged out by the flux, the public spaces that used to be here for centuries unable to adapt to the need that we have today, urban tissues are destroyed, dwellings floating in between remains of the past.
Inflatable structures can like reinforced concrete has been for the last century if we adapt its characteristics to life on Earth and in the cities.
We can plug them for ever or for an ephemeral time in all kind of urban tissue, in old industrial districts, in popular or classy quarters, weaving new kinds of infrastructures and public spaces around and between them.
I choose to illustrate this proposition by placing an inflatable object in a urban fault, for a public or a cultural use. The fault is three meters large and eighty meters deep. It gives access to a small theatre but there is an entrance from another street.
This passage is a “blind space”, with no special use. A perfect place to transplant an inflatable module. The transhab graft seems to be crush between the walls. In fact they hold it four meters above the passage. Fibreglass installed on the surrounding roofs provide natural light.