Von Braun's 1950s design was only 250 feet wide, smaller than the ISS. It was also inflatable rather than constructed in segments. The Von Braun station was made of reinforced nylon that would be launched and then inflated like a large ballon. NASA actually launched some inflatable satelittes in the early days of space exploration. The Echo satellites were nothing more than huge Mylar coated ballons that were used as passive communication sattelites.