We have been selected to develop a deep space, long-duration, human habitat design and prototype for NASA. The partnership, under NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2) Broad Agency Announcement, will allow us, in collaboration with our partners, to use our experience in space to design a complete habitat system architecture and build a full-scale prototype for testing and evaluation. NASA’s NextSTEP-2 public-private partnerships support the journey to Mars, as well as the commercial development of low-Earth orbit (LEO) space by focusing on sustainable human habitats for long-duration spaceflight missions.
Key Habitat Design Elements
Our concept is based on multiple modular components, leveraging both SNC’s internal expertise and external partners to create the most capable habitat. This habitat will combine our experience in space technologies, satellite systems, propulsion and environmental control systems from our subsidiary ORBITEC, as well as our work with the Dream Chaser® spacecraft under NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) and Cargo Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract to support the International Space Station. The basis of our design stems from the Dream Chaser Cargo Module being developed for NASA CRS2 missions. The Dream Chaser spacecraft will return home after LEO missions but the Cargo Module will remain on-orbit to be integrated with other components, including an advanced electric propulsion module for transferring the system to lunar orbit.
The project details will depend on final contract negotiations, however proposed habitat design also includes:
- Significant pressurized volume for long-duration human activity
- Docking capability compatible with NASA’s Orion spacecraft, as well as other systems
- Environmental control and life support systems
- Airlocks for astronaut Extravehicular Activities (EVA)
- Crew health monitoring and support systems
- Propulsion systems for transport and maneuverability
Our wholly-owned subsidiary Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) was selected as a part of the first NextSTEP awards in 2015 for the development and demonstration of hybrid life support systems, including in-space food growth. ORBITEC’s strong knowledge of environmental control and BioProduction systems will be crucial in creating a viable long-term habitat and will help overcome sustainability obstacles.
Associated Business Areas & Subsidiaries
|Business Area||Space Systems|
SNC Space Systems
From custom Dream Chaser tees to coffee mugs and more, visit the SNC Space Systems online store.