NASA's inflatable lunar hab goes to Antarctica

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docm

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Link....<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><b>NASA Plans to Test Lunar Habitat in Extreme Antarctic Environment</b><br /><br />WASHINGTON - NASA will use the cold, harsh, isolated landscape of Antarctica to test one of its concepts for astronaut housing on the moon. The agency is sending a prototype inflatable habitat to Antarctica to see how it stands up during a year of use.<br /><br />Agency officials viewed the habitat Wednesday at ILC Dover in Frederica, Del., as it was inflated one last time before being packed and shipped to Antarctica's McMurdo Station. NASA is partnering on the project with the National Science Foundation, Arlington, Va., which manages McMurdo Station, and ILC Dover, the company that manufactured the prototype structure. All three organizations will share data from the 13-month test, which runs from January 2008 to February 2009. An inflatable habitat is one of several concepts being considered for astronaut housing on the moon.<br /><br />"Testing the inflatable habitat in one of the harshest, most remote sites on Earth gives us the opportunity to see what it would be like to use for lunar exploration," said Paul Lockhart, director of Constellation Systems for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, Headquarters, Washington.<br /><br />NASA's Constellation Program is working to send humans back to the moon by 2020. After initial sorties, the astronauts will set up a lunar outpost for long-duration stays, and they will need a place to live. The agency is developing concepts for habitation modules that provide protection for the astronauts and are easy to transport to the lunar surface.<br /><br />"To land one pound of supplies on the lunar surface, it'll require us to launch 125 pounds of hardware and fuel to get it there," Lockhart said. "So our habitation concepts have to be lightweight as well as durable. This prototype inflatabl</p></blockquote> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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3488

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Thanks docm,<br /><br />This design could be used almost anywhaere that has either a very thin atmosphere like Mars,<br />or essentially none at all, like the Moon, Callisto, 1 Ceres, etc.<br /><br />Please keep us informed of what happens.<br /><br />Very interesting. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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thereiwas

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I saw this on NASA TV. It looked pretty floppy and loose to me - it certainly was not pressurized then. No radiation protection that I could see.
 
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docm

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That's why I think when push comes to shove they'll want some of Bigelow's patented improvements. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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h2ouniverse

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"no radiation protection"<br /><br />indeed!<br />I would expect underground habitat, or that such inflatable str is placed in a natural or artificial cave. It is easier to (1) dig a cave and inflate the structure in it rather than (2)dig the cave, mason the walls and put an airtight liner and all the rest of a classical habitat. <br />Solution (1) represents far less mass to launch from Earth.<br /><br />Regards
 
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kelvinzero

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This design seems to focus on portability rather than permanence. I can see why that might be the best tool for a scientific investigation of the moon but still it would be a great pity. I would really like to see us building infrastructure that doesnt vanish as soon as we stop pouring billions into it.
 
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thereiwas

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Maybe for use on a "camping trip" on a rover away from base to do some prospecting, but I agree it is too flimsy for a permanent facility.<br /><br />I just had an idea for radiation-blocking "parasols" the moon prospectors could carry about, and even prop up over their beds in the inflatable tent. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />I wonder what solar radiation does to the material this tent is made out of.
 
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