Deep Space Habitat
Initial concept missions include 60-day and 500-day mission configurations, composed of International Space Station-derived hardware, the Orion crew capsule and various support craft. The Habitat would be equipped with at least one International Docking System Standard (IDSS) docking system. Developing a Deep Space Habitat would allow a crew to live and work safely in space for up to one year on missions to explore cis-lunar space and some near-Earth asteroids.
In 2015 NASA funded the studies of several types of deep space habitat concepts under the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP). Those concept studies will help NASA decide on a final design for the actual habitat element for the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, with a contract for that to be awarded in fiscal year 2019.
- 60 Day Mission - The basic 60-day mission variant would consist of a Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (CPS), ISS Destiny-derived lab module, and an airlock/tunnel. In addition, a mission-specific support craft, such as the FlexCraft or the Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle (MMSEV) would be docked to the airlock/tunnel. The Destiny-derived lab houses both the crew quarters and the ECLSS components.
- 500 Day Mission - The 500 Day mission variant would consist of the same 60-day crew habitat and crew size. Mass increases would result from the addition of a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) to provide additional supply storage for the extended mission duration. It would be 8 m long and 4.5 m in dimeter.
- 60 Day Mission - The basic vehicle elements for this configuration would include a CPS, a MPLM, Utility tunnel/airlock, Node 4 Structural Test Article. The Node element would allow for the attachment of more than one FlexCraft or Space Exploration Vehicle (MMSEV). The Habitat would be crew serviceable at the front of the Node element opposite the tunnel.
- 500 Day Mission - This 500-day mission variant would have a second MPLM attached to the front on the vehicle as well as add a Cupola to the Node section.
- Orion - NASA designed and currently under construction deep space manned capsule. Capable of carrying 4 crew, and able to withstand re-entry speeds from lunar or Martian trajectories. Orion will be used mainly for crew rotation.
- MMSEV - NASA designed servicing craft. Capable of supporting 2 crew and having Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Suitports for space suits. It is also capable of free flight for 2 weeks.
- DSH FlexCraft - a single crew vehicle, attached to the DSH similar to a visiting craft to the International Space Station.
Propulsion options studied included:
- Cryogenic Propulsion Stage - Traditional high-thrust propulsive stage likely using liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen-fueled engines.
- Space Electric Propulsion - This propulsion system takes advantage of the high efficiency of Hall effect thrusters or other emerging ion-plasma thrusters
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (July 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- "Delving Deeper into NASA's DSH configurations and support craft". nasaspaceflight.com.
- Doug Messier on (August 11, 2016). "A Closer Look at NextSTEP-2 Deep Space Habitat Concepts". Parabolic Arc. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
- . Jason Davis, The Planetary Society. February 26, 2018.
- "Space Exploration Vehicle Concept" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "NASA FlexCraft 2015 - Marshall Space Flight Center". www.youtube.com. MoonlightFoxTV. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Constructing Next-Generation Space Habitat Demonstrators, spacefellowship.com
- Deep Space Habitat module concepts outlined for BEO exploration
- Deep Space Habitat Configurations (Based on International Space Station Systems), AES Habitation Project, March 2012