Author Topic: NASA Presents a Deep Space Habitat Concept for Space Exploration  (Read 932 times)

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NASA Presents a Deep Space Habitat Concept for Space Exploration

NASA has made a presentation to the Future-In-Space Operations (FISO) study group of two Deep Space Habitat concepts that would accommodate a crew of four astronauts on missions beyond low Earth orbit.
One is configured for a 60-day mission, the other for a 500-day mission.

What does the 60-day mission Deep Space Habitat look like?

The Deep Space Habitat is designed to accommodate a crew of four on a 60-day mission. It would consist of:
- a utility tunnel to which an airlock and either a one-person flexcraft of a larger vehicle called the MMSEV or Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle would be attached
- a hab module much like the one on the International Space Station

- and a cryogenic propulsion stage.

The astronauts would ride an Orion Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle from Earth and dock with the Deep Space Habitat and use it to return to Earth after the mission is completed.
The DSH would contain crew quarters, a science station, a galley, and what NASA calls a "Waste Hygiene Compartment."
The DSH could also be considered a space ship since it travels from low Earth orbit to a variety of destinations. In the 60 configuration, destinations would include the Earth-Moon L1 or L2 points or lunar orbit.
What about the 500-day mission Deep Space Habitat?

The DSH is extended to a 500-day mission with the addition of a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) that would store supplies for the crew of four for the longer duration mission. Such missions would include visits to a Near Earth asteroid or a Mars orbital mission, possibly to visit one of the Martian moons. The hab module would have a much larger communications dish as well.
How would the Deep Space Habitat be assembled?

The parts of the Deep Space Habitat could be launched to the International Space Station by existing launch vehicles, such as the Delta IV, Atlas V, or Falcon 9, though the Space Launch System could also be used. The DSH would be assembled at the ISS, tested, and then sent on its way once the crew has boarded it. The DSH would presumably return to low Earth orbit after the completion of its mission and rendezvous with the ISS. The crew would use the Orion spacecraft to return to Earth. Then the DSH, presuming that it is reusable, would be refurbished for the next mission.
Could the DSH be used to facilitate surface mission on the moon or Mars?

The NASA presentation contemplated using the DSH for missions that do not involve landing on a celestial body with a large gravity field. But attaching a landing module to the DSH might allow it to facilitate such a mission.


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