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a multi-functional, two-chamber airlock node for a common habitat architectureAn airlock is generally considered a necessity for any large, habitable spacecraft. While suitports, docked rovers, and external robotics can reduce the need for airlock operations, at some point it is necessary to move both crew and equipment from a habitat interior to the exterior environment. The Common Habitat is a large, long-duration habitat that uses the Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage Liquid Oxygen tank as the primary structure (similar to Skylab) and has an internal architecture compatible with microgravity, lunar gravity, and Mars gravity, such that identical versions of the same design can be used in all three environments. It needs an airlock that is similarly appropriate for both surface and microgravity environments. After a brief survey of prior airlocks, the two-chamber node airlock concept applied to the Common Habitat architecture is described. This includes benefits of the dual chamber and node approaches, dimensions, hatches and docking ports, utilities connections, hatch covers, suit storage, EVA stowage, subsystems, and gravity-specific external attachments. Additionally, the functions of each chamber and reconfiguration capabilities are explained. Finally, conclusions and follow-on work are discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Robert L Howard
(Johnson Space Center Houston, Texas, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2021
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Meeting Information
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 452582.81.72
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
Single Expert

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NameType A Multi Functional Two Chamber Airlock Node for a Common Habitat Architecture.pdf STI