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Potential Applications of Modularity to Enable a Deep Space Habitation Capability for Future Human Exploration Beyond Low-Earth OrbitEvaluating preliminary concepts of a Deep Space Habitat (DSH) enabling long duration crewed exploration of asteroids, the Moon, and Mars is a technically challenging problem. Sufficient habitat volumes and equipment, necessary to ensure crew health and functionality, increase propellant requirements and decrease launch flexibility to deliver multiple elements on a single launch vehicle; both of which increase overall mission cost. Applying modularity in the design of the habitat structures and subsystems can alleviate these difficulties by spreading the build-up of the overall habitation capability across several smaller parts. This allows for a more flexible habitation approach that accommodates various crew mission durations and levels of functionality. This paper provides a technical analysis of how various modular habitation approaches can impact the parametric design of a DSH with potential benefits in mass, packaging volume, and architectural flexibility. This includes a description of the desired long duration habitation capability, the definition of a baseline model for comparison, a small trade study to investigate alternatives, and commentary on potentially advantageous configurations to enable different levels of habitability. The approaches investigated include modular pressure vessel strategies, modular subsystems, and modular manufacturing approaches to habitat structure. The paper also comments upon the possibility of an integrated habitation strategy using modular components to create all short and long duration habitation elements required in the current exploration architectures.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Simon, Matthew A.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Toups, Larry
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Smitherman, David
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
May 22, 2012
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Global Space Exploration Conference(Washington, DC)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 220933.01.04
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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