As space exploration develops, astronauts (and maybe members of the general population too, eventually) will need somewhere to live. There's a lot we don't know, and the requirements of these homes will change over time. Peter Humphries, Managing Director, Advanced Space Manufacturing Systems, Inc. (ASMS), explains how his company is addressing this challenge.
He says: "We need to reduce the space launch vehicle cost so that the common man or woman can start to do this. With our habitation modules, we've got upgradability and reconfigurability on the platform on rollers, instead of being restricted to a small exit and entrance. We're keeping the NASA-standard berthing docking mechanism and we're going to incorporate that standard into our double-door system."
We need to reduce the space launch vehicle cost so that the common man or woman can start to do this.By Peter Humphries, ASMS
He adds: "It means you can upgrade with newer technology five, ten years down the line, or 18 months from now. New breathing apparatus could be brought up, put on the platform and slid inside the habitation module. Or it could be a research scientist or geologist wants a new piece of technology. He's not restricted by the small access that they presently have. When you've got this slidable platform on rollers, you just can bring that new piece of technology and slide it in."
On when we might be living in space, Humphries says: "NASA is saying by the year 2035. However, various other large companies are trying to push to go to Mars or the Moon sooner. This is a hot market, the private space industry – it could develop like Silicon Valley took off."