Inflatable housing start-up Spartan Space is preparing for lunar habitation
[Oct 21, 2021: The Brighter Side of News]
Spartan Space, which is developing Eurohab, an inflatable habitat installed on a lander, is one of the start-ups of the TechTheMoon incubator. (CREDIT: Spartan Space)
Spartan Space, an eight-month-old Marseille, France-based commercial space startup, has developed an ingenious new design for a semi-permanent lunar habitat in a matter of just three months.
The prototype, named ‘Euro Hab’, will hopefully find a home in either NASA’s forthcoming Artemis effort to return astronauts to the Moon, or the European Space Agency’s (ESA) own plans for late 2020s crewed lunar surface missions.
Euro Hab would provide a secondary astronaut habitat that could represent a first step toward a permanent lunar colony at the Moon’s scientifically rich South Pole.
The prototype is not yet space-ready but is a work in progress. However, when it comes to full fruition and will be placed atop a generic autonomous lunar lander as a payload. And once the balloon habitat self-inflates, it will have a diameter of 7 meters.
The interior is designed for two to four astronauts with mission stays of 7 to 14 days. A multichambered airlock should keep lunar dust at bay so that the habitat can be used for recurring missions. Regenerative fuel cells and flexible solar panes on the inflatable’s exterior should allow the habitat to recharge when not in use. Ground controllers can monitor the habitat’s condition and vitals between missions.
“We built the prototype in three months because we wanted to have it at the IAC in Dubai; it’s a prototype with a mockup lander,” Weiss told me here in Antibes, France at the heart of one of the world’s most famous private sailing ports.
A product of a Spartan partnership with the French Space Agency (CNES), France’s Air Liquide, the European Space Agency (ESA), as well as The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), EuroHab came about from an idea Weiss had with former French astronaut and engineer Jean Jacques Favier.
"It lands with the lander before the astronauts arrive, it opens like a flower and settles in", describes Peter Weiss, the founder of Spartan Space who works alongside two French astronauts, Jean-Jacques Favier and Jean -François Clervoy. And a model of which will be presented in reduced size at the Dubai World Fair.
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