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NASA wins funds for roomy module suited to deep space missions

点击量:   时间:2017-04-12 01:02:06

TRIPS to Mars call for a bit of legroom. NASA’s latest budget, passed by US Congress last month, includes $55 million to develop a homely craft suitable for crewed deep-space missions, such as a potential Mars voyage. Congress says that NASA should “develop a prototype deep space habitation module” no later than 2018, for use with the Orion spacecraft and SLS rocket system now being developed. Orion is designed to carry astronauts into deep space, but it is little bigger than the Apollo capsule in which astronauts spent a week during the moon missions. Its cramped conditions would make an 18-month Mars mission hard to bear. Although NASA has, over decades, built up many designs for modules similar to those on the International Space Station, giving astronauts more room, it’s not yet clear if any of these will be dusted off and put to use. NASA has 180 days after the president approves the budget to report back to Congress on its progress. (Image: Bill Stafford/NASA) This article appeared in print under the headline “Loft in space” More on these topics: