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Housing Humans in Deep SpaceTo bring astronauts to Mars by the 2030s, NASA has selected six private companies to design and develop deep space habitats under the second Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) Broad Agency Announcement.
NextSTEP-2 focuses on developing deep space habitation concepts through partnerships between the public and private sectors. Here are the new prototypes they created.
Up First: Lockheed Martin
Lockheed MartinSlide 2 of 13
Lockheed MartinLockheed Martin is working to revamp the design of a logistics module from the space shuttle resupply missions and create a full-scale habitat prototype. The company has also dreamed up a wilde plan for an orbital outpost around Mars, known as Mars Base Camp.
The design includes an environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) and an avionics system for navigation, communication and management of all flight functionality. Last year, Lockheed Martin unveiled their design for a new spaceflight system called "Jupiter" that could fly astronauts to the space station, the moon and beyond.
Up Next: Orbital ATKSlide 3 of 13
Orbital ATKSlide 4 of 13
Orbital ATKA Virginia-based private spaceflight company, Orbital ATK, is working on a design based on the Cygnus spacecraft, which currently flies automated and unmanned cargo supply missions to the International Space Station.
Orbital ATK's cislunar habitat concept will test interfaces between the new Cygnus-based spacecraft, the Orion crew module and other space modules. Its goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of long-term operations in deep space.
Up Next: Sierra Nevada CorporationSlide 5 of 13
Sierra Nevada CorporationSlide 6 of 13
Sierra Nevada CorporationSierra Nevada Corporation's idea for a deep space habitat involves 3 to 4 rocket launches for a long-duration habitat that will be constructed in space. Their prototype is based on the company's Dream Chaser cargo module.
The design includes a large inflatable fabric environment module, an environmental control and life support system (ECLSS), and a propulsion system.
Up Next: NanoRacksSlide 7 of 13
NanoracksSlide 8 of 13