NASA is currently developing Skylab 2, a permanent home orbiting the Earth. Naturally, no one is approving the funds for this. What do you do?
Well, NASA's plan is to build Skylab 2 from a rocket gas tank.
NASA is currently designing and building its next-generation rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), for returning to the moon, investigating asteroids, and (should anyone ever be crazy enough to try this) go to Mars. It is 384 feet high and can send 130 ton payload into orbit. It is currently slated for a test flght in 2017. The upper stage fuel tank is the size of a house -- 17,500 cubic feet. And rather than letting burn up in re-entry, the plan is to jettison it in space and use that as a module to build Skylab 2. Check this shit out:
I would like to point out this will be roomier than the International Space Station, whose modules are only 15 wide. Brand Griffin is an engineer with Gray Research, Inc who works with NASA's Advanced Concepts Office. He did say the idea "is not challenging technology", although he thankfully didn't use the old, "It's not rocket science" line, probably for obvious reasons. In fact, this has been done before. The original Skylab used parts from a Saturn V rocket. The results could hold four astronauts comfortably and be used for building moon bases and transit hubs.
Jesus, imagine what could happen if NASA actually got money!