Skip to Content
Uncategorized

An Inflatable Lunar Habitat

NASA is planning to test a prototype house in Antarctica for future moon habitation.
November 27, 2007
Credit: NASA/JSC

NASA’s Constellation Program is planning to return humans to the moon in 2020, and this time around, astronauts will engage in lengthy explorations of the lunar surface, requiring them to remain on the moon for long periods of time. For this purpose, NASA is developing astronaut living quarters that are not only safe and durable, but also lightweight and easy to transport. One concept is an inflatable habitat that offers 384 square feet of living space and resembles a backyard bounce house for children. A prototype of the habitat is being sent to the extreme, harsh environment of Antarctica for testing over the next year.

“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, in a press release from NASA.

The inflatable habitat is to serve as a safe living space for the astronauts. It’s eight feet tall, insulated, and heated, and it has power and is pressurized. It can be taken down and set up in a few hours by four crew members so that astronauts have the freedom to explore more regions of the lunar surface.

The prototype is being shipped to Antarctica’s Murdoch Station, where it will be equipped with sensors and monitored by NASA engineers and members of the National Science Foundation, which has partnered with NASA on the project. The company that manufactured the inflatable habitat, ILC Dover, based in Frederica, DE, will also take part in the testing, which is scheduled for January and February 2008.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.