Engineers and technicians explore a deep space habitat ground prototype May 1 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The prototype, built by Boeing, will undergo testing this summer at Marshall.
As part of a two-phased approach to lunar exploration, NASA is leading development of a lunar outpost called the Gateway. In the initial Gateway phase, NASA will work with American companies to design, develop and launch a power and propulsion element and a deep space habitat for the outpost. The Boeing Exploration Habitat Demonstrator at Marshall is one of five uniquely designed, deep space habitat prototypes in development through NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships, or NextSTEP.
Throughout the test period, NASA will assess the overall habitation design, with astronauts conducting simulations inside to evaluate the internal layout and ergonomics, to support efficient work-life balance aboard a deep space ship.
The series of five habitat tests will help NASA prepare for the upcoming procurement of a U.S. provided habitation module for the lunar Gateway, the first spacecraft designed to stay in orbit around the Moon. The Gateway will enable NASA and its commercial and international partners to pursue new exploration, science and technology demonstrations on and around the Moon, and will serve as a stepping stone to Mars.
To learn more about all five habitat prototypes, visit:
To learn more about technology development at Marshall, visit:
Photo credit: Boeing