. International Space Station (ISS) - Habitat Concept



Credit: A.C. Clarke - Rama Created by Eric Bruneton Original video: http://ebruneton.free.fr/rama3/rama.html

Credit: Uzi Berko




On April 11, 2016, Bigelow Aerospace and United Launch Alliance held a joint media event in Colorado Springs, CO to announce a partnership to develop and deploy habitable volumes in Low Earth orbit (LEO). The volumes will be based on the Bigelow Aerospace B330 expandable module with the initial launch to orbit in 2020 on ULA's Atlas V 552.

Bigelow Aerospace is building space habitats for the public. Get an exclusive tour inside one of their prototypes, and see where we would live in space.

Credit: NASA Spaceflight Forum

NASA has selected six U.S. companies to help advance the Journey to Mars by developing ground prototypes and concepts for deep space habitats.

International Space Station (ISS) - Habitat Concept

The International Space Station (ISS) is composed of a Russian Orbital Segment developed by the Russian Federal Space Agency,  a United States Orbital Segment (USOS) developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The USOS consists of pressurized habitable modules that are approximately 4.5 m in diameter with varying lengths between 5 and 11 meters. The sizes of these modules were dictated by the cargo bay size and lift capability of the Space Shuttle. 

There are several modules remaining in the ISS Program that have been considered for outfitting and utilization on orbit and were previously described for ISS derived Deep Space Habitats. The modules considered are the habitat module (HAB), which was the structural test article for the Destiny module (LAB), the structural test article for the Unity module (Node 1), and two Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules (MPLM), Raffaello and Donatello. Although the Space Shuttle is no longer available to launch these modules, they could be used in future missions to deep space because they fit within the payload capability of current Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELV). Modifications to the structural load path of the ISS modules might be required, but the basic size is right for ELV delivery to orbit.

ISS Derived Concepts

Several ISS derived concepts have been studied to determine the feasibility of using existing ISS modules available on the ground or fabricating new modules of a similar size and design. Two basic concepts are presented here to illustrate the potential they have for Deep Space Habitats. All are at a vey high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) because they are highly reliant on exiting ISS technologies. It is likely these designs could be implemented through the existing ISS International Partner agreements and produced through the existing ISS contracting mechanisms. In other words, these vehicles could become an extension of the existing ISS Program. Both ISS derived concepts were planned for launch on multiple ELV’s to the ISS for final assembly and outfitting.

The Configuration A is designed to support 4-crew for 500 days with a Node 1 element and two MPLMs. The second MPLM between the MPCV and the Node is designed primarily for logistics storage and the additional systems needed for 500-day missions. If it were removed, the vehicle could still support 4-crew, but only for 60-day missions.

For a 60-day habitat, the second MPLM is removed, yielding a habitat mass of 30,007 kg with a pressurized volume of 185 m3 and a habitable volume of 76 m3. For comparative purposes, the 60-day configuration is considered suitable for all Lunar vicinity missions.

ISS node 3

Inside the ESA Space LAB

TheConfiguration B is designed to support 4-crew for 500 days with a HAB module element and one MPLM. The MPLM between the Orion MPCV and the HAB is designed primarily for logistics storage needed for 500-day missions. If it were removed, the vehicle could still support 4-crew, but only for 60-day missions.

The MPLM has two axial ports. One axial port has the MPCV attached and the other has a tunnel structure designed for use as an Airlock and a strong back for externally mounted solar arrays, batteries, and radiators. The other end of the tunnel has the primary HAB attached, containing the crew life support functions. Beyond the HAB is a notional EUS.

The tunnel/airlock can accommodate an EVA hatch and the FlexCraft. An ISS derived robotic arm is also envisioned to be a part of the robotic systems available on this habitat.

The habitable elements include the HAB module with all crew life support systems, a connecting tunnel/airlock, and a MPLM for logistics to support the mission crew size and duration. All internal equipment is built into the module for on orbit servicing and does not use the ISS rack system.

The total mass of the 500-day habitat is 45,573 kg with a pressurized volume of 193 m3 and a habitable volume of 90 m3.

The Node 1 module is in the center of this configuration with the primary MPLM and connecting tunnel/airlock on the left axial port and the logistics MPLM on the right axial port. The interior layout uses the standard ISS rack system except for the crew quarter built in to the end dome of the primary MPLM.

The Node 1 radial ports contain a single person, free-flyer vehicle called FlexCrafton one side and an ISS derived Cupola on the other—both specifically designed to support robotic and EVA assembly and exploration operations. An ISS derived robotic arm is also envisioned to be a part of the robotic systems available on this Habitat. The other two radial ports are open for a commercial Logistics Resupply Module and an internationally developed reusable Lunar Lander.

Surrounding the crew quarters is a Water Wall for radiation protection, so the crew can retreat to their quarters during a Solar Particle Event (SPE). Not all of the primary and secondary systems could fit into the MPLM with this layout, so the racks in the Node are also used for life support functions.

The total mass of the 500-day Habitat is 49,578 kg with a pressurized volume of 281 m3 and a habitable volume of 108 m3. This configuration is considered suitable for the asteroid and Mars miss ions.

ISS quest airlock


Above you see Configuration A for the ISS Derived Node + Airlock + 1 & 2 MPLMs. The two habitats shown provide habitation for 4-crew on 60-day missions, or 500-day missions with the addition of a second MPLM. 

Above we have the Configuration B for the ISS Derived HAB + Airlock + MPLM. The two ISS derived habitats shown provide habitation for 4-crew on 60-day missions, or 500-day missions with the addition of a MPLM. 

Credit: "Habitat Concepts for Deep Space Exploration" by David Smitherman, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama, 35812 and Brand N. Griffin of Gray Research, Huntsville, Alabama, 35806.

The International Space Station orbits 200 miles above our heads, hurtling around the Earth at 17500 thousand miles an hour. This film explores how the space station was made possible through a series of five engineering breakthroughs. Using high-end computer generated imagery that makes up 50% of the film, this film reveals the incredible stories behind these structures and the inventions that have pushed the boundaries of science. 

The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest orbiting laboratory ever built.

The first parts of the ISS were sent and assembled in orbit in 1998. Since the year 2000, the ISS has had crews living continuously on board. Building the ISS is like living in a house while constructing it at the same time. Building and sustaining the ISS requires 80 launches on several kinds of rockets over a 12-year period. 

When fully complete, the ISS will weigh about 420,000 kilograms (925,000 pounds). It will measure 74 meters (243 feet) long by 110 meters (361 feet) wide. This is equivalent to a football field, including the end zones. The pressurized volume will be 935 cubic meters (33,023 cubic feet), larger than a five-bedroom house. The solar array surface area will be 2,500 square meters (27,000 square feet), which is an acre of solar panels and enough to power 10 averagesized homes with 110 kilowatts of power.

The ISS orbits between 370 and 460 kilometers (230–286 miles) above Earth’s surface. The ISS orbits at a 51.6-degree inclination around Earth. This angle covers 90 percent of the populated area of Earth. Every 3 days, the ISS passes over the same place on Earth. It takes about 90 minutes for the ISS to circle Earth one time. The ISS orbits Earth 16 times per day, so astronauts can see 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets each day!

During the daylight periods, temperatures reach 200 ºC, while temperatures during the night periods drop to -200 ºC. The view of Earth from the ISS reveals part of the planet, not the whole planet.


Orbital ATK’s vision for the next step toward human space missions to Mars employs the flight-proven Cygnus advanced maneuvering spacecraft as a human habitat in cislunar space. In the early 2020s it will launch the initial habitat on NASA’s SLS rocket. Featuring a modular design, the habitat will serve both as a destination for crewed missions and as an unmanned test-bench to prove the technologies needed for long-duration human space missions. The habitat is also envisioned as a base for lunar missions by international partners or commercial ventures. With additional habitation and propulsion modules, the habitat could be outfitted for a Mars pathfinder mission. Credit: Northrop Grumman

This video shows the animation of the process of transporting, assembling and testing the Habitat Demonstration Unit - Deep Space Habitat configuration,  deployed during the 2011 Desert RATS analog field tests.

Join ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti as she shows how astronauts on the International Space Station keep clean. During her 40-hour working week Samantha runs many experiments from Italy’s ASI space agency and ESA, and takes part in even more from scientists all over the world. Samantha is living and working on board the International Space Station as part of the six-strong Expedition 42 and 43 crew.

Photos of all the food we tasted at NASA here (space smoothies!): http://www.tested.com/science/space/4...
How does the dining experience in space compare to that on Earth? We visited NASA's Space Food Systems Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center in Houston to learn about the history of space food and sample some of the same food that the astronauts on the International Space Station eat every day.