European airline giant Airbus has unveiled a new space habitat concept that will be more spacious and comfortable than existing space stations.
Called the Loop, the multipurpose orbital module features three customizable surfaces connected via a tunnel surrounded by an integrated greenhouse. Airbus said the orbital habitat is designed for a crew of four but can be modified to accommodate up to eight astronauts. in the current situation (Opens in a new tab).
At 26 feet (8 m) wide, the LOOP is designed to fit the next generation of super-heavy launchers, such as SpaceX‘s Starshipand thus can be deployed with a single launch and be habitable immediately upon arrival in orbit, Airbus said.
Related: NASA is looking to private outposts to build on the legacy of the International Space Station
In its basic configuration, the LOOP features a housing surface, a science surface, and a producing centrifugal surface artificial attraction, where residents can get temporary relief from zero-gravity conditions. It is known to man The body quickly deteriorates in the absence of gravity, with muscle and bone wearing away from neglect. absence gravity It also confuses the human nervous system with spatial orientation, often resulting in nausea during the early days of an orbital sojourn.
“Airbus LOOP is designed to make extended stays in space comfortable and enjoyable for its residents, while at the same time supporting efficient and sustainable operations,” Airbus said in the statement. “It builds on everything that has been learned over the decades and fully exploits the potential of tomorrow’s technologies in order to best support humanity’s future in space: in low Earth orbit or lunar orbit, or on long-term missions.” Mars. ”
The concept of a space habitat, which according to Airbus offers its passengers more interior space than existing space stations, could be ready for flight in the early 2030s after the end of its life. International Space Station.
Previously, Airbus led the consortia that built Columbus European Unit from the International Space Station and Automated transport vehicle which served as a cargo carrier for the orbiting laboratory. The company is currently responsible for building Orion serversbuilt to propel the NASA crew capsule Artemis Lunar exploration programme.
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