Abstract: This thesis examines an equipment stowage shelf suspended from a frame in the cargo bay (mid fuselage) of the U.S. Space Shuttle, and three alternative designs. The first design is a conventional truss, representing the “tried and true” approach. The second is a cable dome type structure consisting of struts and pre-stressed cables. The third and fourth are double layer tensegrity systems consisting of contiguous struts of the order k=1 and k=2 respectively. The four options are compared to each other with an emphasis placed on weight, size, and approximate cost of each option. Results indicate the 4-Way Double Layer Tensegrity grid utilizing carbon fiber composite cables is the most efficient (lightest weight) tensegrity system, however for this particular application the most cost effective design was proven to be the optimized conventional truss. It was determined that the scale of the structure would have to increase substantially or tensegrity structures complexity must decrease for these alternative systems to compete with conventional designs.