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Congress Requires NASA to Develop a Deep Space Habitat

15 Jan 2016, 04:04 UTC
Congress Requires NASA to Develop a Deep Space Habitat
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SLS propellant tank derived DSH @ EML1 (credit NASA)The US Congress passed an omnibus spending bill last December requiring NASA to develop a prototype deep space habitation (DSH) module no later than 2018. It also requires NASA to provide Congress with a report on how the enactment of this bill is being complied with by the first half of 2016.NASA has viewed a DSH  as a necessary component for safely transporting humans from cis-lunar space to Mars orbit in the 2030's and also as a gateway to the lunar surface and beyond. The Earth-Moon Lagrange points EML1 and EML2 have most often been proposed as the place where a Deep Space Habitat should be deployed.EML2 (L2) has the advantage of requiring the lowest delta-v from LEO in order to deploy the DHS into a halo orbit around the Lagrange point. But crewed journeys from LEO to L2 also has the disadvantage  of taking as long as 8 days to reach the habitat if the low delta v of 3.43 km/s is to be taken advantage of. Such a long journey would expose astronauts to two to four times as much cosmic radiation as journeying to EML1.  A higher delta-v of ...

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