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Design, Development, and Testing of an Inflatable Habitat Element for NASA Lunar Analogue Studies
 

Summary: Design, Development, and Testing of an Inflatable
Habitat Element for NASA Lunar Analogue Studies
Massimiliano Di Capua,
Dr. David L. Akin,
Kevin Davis
Space Systems Laboratory, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland
College Park, MD, 20742, USA
The University of Maryland (UMd) was selected as a finalist in the 2010 NASA X-Hab
Academic Innovation Challenge. Students in the Aerospace Engineering department of the
A. James Clark School of Engineering designed, fabricated, and tested a full-scale inflat-
able upper-deck habitat for the NASA Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU), for possible
incorporation into future analogue field testing through the NASA Desert Research and
Technology Studies (D-RATS) program. The vision for this effort is to facilitate human
lunar exploration by exploring technologies which may provide long-term habitation with
minimum mission impact.
The upper deck habitat, or "loft" has a circular 5m diameter footprint, an internal
volume of 60m2
, and retains its shape when the envelope is not pressurized. The inflatable
envelope also includes a simulated radiation protection layer and a thermal insulation layer,
and is capable of sustaining 50mph winds. The element has a total mass of 372kg, and has

  

Source: Akin, David - Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland at College Park

 

Collections: Engineering