Located on-site at the Johnson Space Center research facility, the Altitude Chamber Complex consists of eight experimental chambers designed to simulate characteristics of the space environment. Although the chambers were initially designed to test life support systems and other gear, they are also used to simulate confinement and other unique challenges associated with long-duration space flight.
Two of the chambers are used primarily for human testing and can be modified to simulate different atmospheric pressure, lighting, and other conditions. The chambers have been used to simulate long-duration space flight, including a 56-day Skylab mission simulation and a 91-day Lunar Mars Life Support Test Project. During these simulations, investigators make every effort to limit supply replenishment and face-to-face contact with the crew, and the on-board team is responsible to attend to all interior upkeep and repairs.
Future studies at the Altitude Chamber Complex will continue to focus on life support systems, long-duration spaceflight, and the physiological and psychological impacts of confinement.