So, in the S.S Portland (The main setting of my story) there is a variety of rooms. A lounge, a lab, etc. so, i was thinking that at some point, the lounge would be changed out for a 0-g pool. A band of 4-10 robots would grasp the room, detach it, and carry it to the space station. the new room would then be delivered. Although, would swapping rooms like that be possible? would there be any seismic activity? Or would it be calm?
Here is a space capsule docking with the international space station. Your room addition would be similar. The old room would pack up and leave and the new room would sidle up and lock on. That space capsule does not have a 0-g pool (because they are very dangerous) but it does have a squash court and a locker room.
I suspect that persons on the capsule and on the space station would feel a jolt as the two made contact although if the docking bay were made with some sort of shock absorbing bumpers you could minimize that effect.
There are issues - often practical, but some geometrical - to consider.
With experience in modular building construction, I have some thoughts to share.
The issue with interchangeable rooms are:
- Not all rooms have the same dimensions. This creates a geometric problem, as it would not be able to feed into a superstructure easily without major reconfiguration.
- You cannot predict if a room has external walls or would be an internal wall. There are different requirements for both, but let's say in space this is much more so. So effectively you are wasting resources on treating every wall as an external wall.
- Connections are complicated and prone to failure. Unfortunately where modules connect are potential weak points, requiring sealing, attention and generally extra complexity.
The benefits (being primarily ease of construction) do not really outweigh the costs unless you deal with the other issues above. Possible solutions could be:
- Consider prefabricated, rather than modular. Eg. Wall panels that can be assembled to any geometry.
- Consider a variety of wall types. Eg. External and internal to suit different applications
- Consider simplifying connections. Eg. No complicated airlocks - external envelope essentially is external walls, and internal walls are the ones that change configuration.