Transhab was a concept pursued by NASA to develop the technology for expandable habitats inflated by air in space. Specifically, Transhab was intended as a replacement for the already existing rigid International Space Station crew Habitation Module. When deflated, inflatable modules provide an 'easier to launch' compact form. When fully inflated, Transhab would expand to 8.2 meters in diameter (compare to the 4.4 meter diameter of the Columbus ISS Module).cite web |url= |title=TransHab Concept | |author=Kim Dismukes (curator) |date=2003-06-27 |accessdate=2007-06-10]

The name of the project is a contraction of "Transit Habitat" reflecting the original intention to design an interplanetary vehicle to transfer humans to Mars.cite conference |first=Kriss |last=Kennedy |title=Lessons from TransHab: An Architect's Experience |booktitle=AIAA Space Architecture Symposium |date=2002 |location=Houston, Texas |id=AIAA 2002-6105]

Considerable controversy arose during the Transhab development effort due to delays and increased costs of the ISS program. In fact, the National Space Society issued a policy statement recommending that NASA cease development of Transhab.cite press release |url= |title=National Space Society Announces Policy on Transhab |publisher=National Space Society ( |date=1999-06-10 |accessdate=2007-06-10] Finally in 2000, despite objections from The White House,cite press release |url= |title=President signs H.R. 1654, the "National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2000." |publisher=Office of the Press Secretary "via" |author=White House |date=2000-10-30 |accessdate=2007-06-10] House Resolution 1654 was signed into law banning NASA from conducting further research and development of Transhab. An option to lease an inflatable habitat module from private industry was included in the bill.cite web |url= |title=National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2000 |publisher=Library of Congress |author=106th Congress |date=2000-01-24 |accessdate=2007-05-26] cite web |url= |title=National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2000, Conference Report |publisher=Library of Congress |first=F James |last=Sensenbrenner |date=2000-09-12 |accessdate=2007-06-10] cite web |url= |title=Letter from NASA JSC Center Director: Actions Required to Address ISS Budget Challenges |publisher=NASA "via" |first=George W S |last=Abbey |date=2001-02-27 |accessdate=2007-06-10] Since that time, the private company Bigelow Aerospace has purchased the rights to the patents developed by NASA and is pursuing a similar scheme for a private space station design.cite web |url= |title=Interview: TransHab developer William Schneider | |first=Dan |last=Schrimpsher |date=2006-08-21 |accessdate=2007-06-10] The company has launched the "Genesis I" and "Genesis II" pathfinder spacecraft, with plans for additional experimental craft culminating in their "BA 330" production model.


External links

* [ The Five-Billion-Star Hotel] - Popular Science Article on Bigelow Aerospace.
* [ Bigelow Aerospace's official site]
* [ Bigelow's inflatable spacecraft]
* [ An Interview with Constance Adams] One of the architects for Transhab
* [ Transhab and the Prehistory of its Architecture]
* [ Congress OKs $28.8 Billion NASA Spending Bill]
* [ Computer Animation and Inflation Test of the Original Transhab]

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