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Minimum Functionality Lunar Habitat Element Design: Requirements and Definition of an Initial Human Establishment on the Moon
ISSN: 1946-3855, e-ISSN: 1946-3901
Published July 12, 2009 by SAE International in United States
Citation: Di Capua, M., Mirvis, A., Medina, O., and Akin, D., "Minimum Functionality Lunar Habitat Element Design: Requirements and Definition of an Initial Human Establishment on the Moon," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 4(1):108-129, 2011, https://doi.org/10.4271/2009-01-2369.
This paper summarizes the activities of the University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory in performing a design study for a minimum functionality lunar habitat element for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. By creating and deploying a survey to personnel experienced in Earth analogues, primarily shipboard and Antarctic habitats, a list of critical habitat functions was established, along with their relative importance and their impact on systems design/implementation. Based on a review of relevant past literature and the survey results, four habitat concepts were developed, focused on interior space layout and preliminary systems sizing. Those concepts were then evaluated for habitability through virtual reality (VR) techniques and merged into a single design. Trade studies were conducted on habitat systems, and the final design was synthesized based on all of the results. A full scale functional mockup of the final concept was fabricated which along with neutral buoyancy partial gravity testing allowed more realistic human factors studies and the validation of the VR techniques used previously.