The Sierra Nevada Corporation revealed an inflatable module for NASA’s upcoming Lunar Gateway orbital space station that offers 300 cubic meters of living space.
The 27 feet in diameter and 27 feet long, huge prototype, about a third of the size of the International Space Station, provides astronauts about 300 cubic meters spread across three floors.
Former astronaut Steve Lindsey, now vice president of Space Exploration Systems at Sierra Nevada, said:
“Johnson Space Center just finished testing this, where they put a crew inside for about three days — what they call ‘day-in-the-life testing.’ That is where you go through a simulated mission, you test the functionality of the space and how well it works accomplishing the mission.
We don’t have the official results of that testing, but we are told it went very, very well, so we are really excited about that.
We wanted to get the maximum amount of space for the astronauts to use as a habitat but still fit inside of a rocket. The advantage of an inflatable is that you can launch it inside a payload fairing, get it up to space and then, once [there], inflate it, expand it out to a size like this and you can get a huge amount of volume.”
Images credit Sierra Nevada Corporation
source Sierra Nevada Corporation