Testing refines requirements for deep space habitat design
A team of NASA Johnson Space Center engineers and astronauts in Building 29 performed tests during the week of June 25 to help refine NASA’s requirements for the design of a deep space habitat—one of several elements comprising the Gateway. The agency will begin Gateway assembly in lunar orbit beginning in 2022, with contributions from U.S. industry and international partners. In this photo, an engineer, astronaut Shannon Walker, astronaut candidates Raja Chari and Robb Kulin, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide, evaluate spacewalk-related procedures. Testing during the week included activities such as remotely operating a rover and collecting lunar samples on the surface of the Moon, preparing for spacewalks and performing scientific research aboard the outpost, as well as aspects of daily life such as meals, exercise and medical evaluations.
The Johnson team will play a lead role in evaluating the full-sized deep space habitat ground prototypes being developed as part of NASA’s NextSTEP Broad Agency Announcement process to identify key capabilities for habitation in deep space. Those prototypes will be provided beginning next year. NASA and its partners will use the Gateway for deep-space operations, including missions to and on the Moon, with decreasing reliance on Earth. From lunar orbit, the agency will develop its exploration systems and gain the experience necessary to extend human presence farther into the solar system than ever before.
Image Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz