This is the Spaceship that will take our brave astronauts to Mars. Small! NASA is constructing next-generation Space Habitat, resembling a smaller size Space Station, for missions to near-Earth asteroids and Mars.
Developing a Deep Space Habitat will allow a crew to live and work safely in space for up to a year on missions to explore cis-lunar space, near-Earth asteroids, and Mars. The Habitation Systems Project is a multi-center team of NASA architects, scientists and engineers, working together to develop sustainable living quarters, workspaces, and laboratories for astronauts on next-generation space missions.
After successfully constructing and field testing the first deep space habitat concept demonstrator – the Habitat Demonstration Unit – the team is building on past success by constructing an ISS-derived Deep Space Habitat Concept Demonstrator. This Concept Demonstrator is being constructed with mockups of modules currently in use on the International Space Station-an ISS Laboratory-sized shell and a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM; flight units were used by the space shuttle to transport equipment to the space station). The Concept Demonstrator is being assembled and outfitted in Building 4649 at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
A concept demonstrator entails outfitting mockup elements with operational systems to allow the evaluation of living and working in the habitat. Mockups are representative, full-size models built for evaluation.