Cis-Lunar Habitats Anyone?

Not sure I can blog fast enough to keep up. Shorter entries I guess.

Northrop Grumman, NASA test Cygnus-derived lunar gateway habitat

Northrup Grumman has successfully tested the internal layout of their Lunar Orbital Gateway contender for Habitat Module. NASA and Northrup Grumman partnered on the test, using four ISS astronauts and four astronaut candidates. The astronauts performed a series of space station activities laid out by NASA and Northrup Grumman and over the course of about a week simulated two days in the life of a Moon-Orbiting Space Station. The module design is based on and an advancement of their current Cygnus ISS cargo vessel which is currently serving in NASA’s Commercial Resupply Program.

Of course, other issues remain to be addressed, such as longevity and increased radiation exposure. The requirements for such will be different than Cygnus has ever had to match, but as you can see…

A- Things are moving along rapidly.

B- LOP-G contractor selection, development, and testing is based on NASA’s new procurement paradigm used in Commercial Resupply and Commercial Crew.

Bigelow, Boeing, Lockheed, Sierra Nevada, and NanoRacks no doubt are or will soon undergo similar trials with their designs.

Astronaut candidate Woody Hoburg, left, participates in an evaluation at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston of a Gateway concept habitation module developed by Northrop Grumman. NASA is conducting a series of tests inside several deep space habitation prototypes built by American companies to develop ideas about how astronauts will live and work on the Gateway. During the testing of each ground prototype, engineers are evaluating habitat system capabilities and performance, while human factors teams consider layout and ergonomics to optimize efficiency and performance. The ground prototypes are developed by Bigelow Aerospace, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Sierra Nevada Corporation. The agency is evaluating the prototypes across the country this spring and summer. 

Since these habitat modules are being developed under NextSTEP, none of these efforts will be wasted. Regardless of who actually builds the Habitat Module that flies, all of the contenders will still own all of their designs along with anything that they learn from NASA along the way.

~ by Bill Housley on May 12, 2019.

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