Journey To Mars: Where astronauts might live when they get there

In March 2016 NASA awarded three prizes for proposals on the use of in situ Martian resources to construct habitats for astronauts.

The focus of the proposal was on using Martin regolith to build the habitat as opposed to earlier proposal which envisioned using regolith to shield a habitat brought from Earth.

This approach would have an extremely significant impact on the journey to Mars.

Quoting NASA:

“ . . . for every kilogram of native materials used, one saves 11 kg of transportation propellant and spacecraft mass required to launch to Low Earth Orbit . . .”

NASA estimates the cost of lifting one kilogram into Low Earth Orbit to be US$110,000. Building habitats on site rather than carrying them there results in cost savings which can be channeled into the science aspects of the mission. Continue reading “Journey To Mars: Where astronauts might live when they get there”

Home, Home at Lagrange: Congress orders NASA to build a “Deep Space Habitat”

This week Congress directed NASA to build a Deep Space Habitat by 2018 and appropriated $55 million for the initial phase. NASA must report its progress to Congress within 180 days.

As of this date NASA has not yet posted a reaction to this directive on its website. In fact NASAs website doesn’t even list DSH as a topic. Clearly a DSH has not been a priority in the present budget climate. Continue reading “Home, Home at Lagrange: Congress orders NASA to build a “Deep Space Habitat””