Tags: nasa | module | repurposed | habitat

NASA Module Repurposed as Deep Space Model Prototype

Image: NASA Module Repurposed as Deep Space Model Prototype
(Screengrab of Twitter post/@SPACEdotcom)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 Jul 2017 12:30 PM

A NASA cargo module is being repurposed from use on the now-decommissioned space shuttle to a prototype for a deep space habitat for astronauts.

Lockheed Martin's refurbishing of the Donatello multi-purpose model that carried supplies to the International Space Station will now serve as a test model for a living area for astronauts living beyond Earth's orbit, NBC reported.

The company said in a statement that the project is being done under a public-private partnership awarded to Lockheed Martin by NASA. Lockheed Martin stated that its engineers will continue to refine the design concept already developed and work with NASA to identify key system requirements for what is called its "Deep Space Gateway."

"It is easy to take things for granted when you are living at home, but the recently selected astronauts will face unique challenges," Bill Pratt, Lockheed Martin NextSTEP program manager, said in the company's statement.

"Something as simple as calling your family is completely different when you are outside of low Earth orbit. While building this habitat, we have to operate in a different mindset that's more akin to long trips to Mars to ensure we keep them safe, healthy, and productive."

Pratt referred to the NASA astronaut class elected in June, of which some members could be selected to participate in the world's first manned deep space missions.

"We are excited to work with NASA to repurpose a historic piece of flight hardware, originally designed for low Earth orbit exploration, to play a role in humanity's push into deep space," Pratt said in his statement. "Making use of existing capabilities will be a guiding philosophy for Lockheed Martin to minimize development time and meet NASA's affordability goals."

According to Space.com, Lockheed will also build a deep space avionics integration laboratory in Houston to demonstrate command and control between the Deep Space Gateway and the new Orion spacecraft, which the company is also constructing.

Lockheed Martin is being joined by Boeing, Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Bigelow Aerospace, and NanoRacks in developing ground prototypes and concepts for deep space habitats, Space.com said.

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A NASA cargo module is being repurposed from use on the now-decommissioned space shuttle to a prototype for a deep space habitat for astronauts.
nasa, module, repurposed, habitat
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2017-30-26
Wednesday, 26 Jul 2017 12:30 PM
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