Inflatable Lofts For NASA 'Campers' On Moon And Mars

An inflatable loft is the goal in a recent NASA engineering competition; the intent is to increase living space on lunar or Martian habitats.


(Inflatable loft on NASA habitat)

"This competition gives these students the opportunity of a lifetime," said NASA Chief Technologist Bobby Braun at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "They'll design and build new hardware. If their team wins, they'll get the chance to integrate their designs into a NASA hard shell habitat and see it field tested next summer."

The inflatable second storey for the prototype Martian or lunar mobile home is to interface with NASA's "Barrel Interface Ring" on the roof of the hardshell ground floor. It should offer room enough to sleep four, and be reconfigurable as a "crew gathering" or "group meeting" area.

Science fiction fans have long been familiar with this concept, popularized by writers like Larry Niven, who wrote about inflatable expansion bubbles in his 1994 story Crashlander.

From The Register; didn't I see this @nyrath?

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