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Video: Inflatable “Tents” For Off World Settlers?

7 Sep 2010, 21:18 UTC
Video: Inflatable “Tents” For Off World Settlers? Bigelow Aerospace
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(Image Credit: Bigelow Aerospace) For those of you who envisioned outposts made out of metal, plastic and off world dirt, you may soon be disappointed that NASA and ESA have a different vision for conquering the final frontier, one filled with lots of hot air. Gary Spexarth, manager of lunar surface systems design at NASA, believes that, [...]

(Image Credit: Bigelow Aerospace)
For those of you who envisioned outposts made out of metal, plastic and off world dirt, you may soon be disappointed that NASA and ESA have a different vision for conquering the final frontier, one filled with lots of hot air.
Gary Spexarth, manager of lunar surface systems design at NASA, believes that, despite their appearance, current inflatable habitats are far better suited than metal structures to the harsh environments of space. ’You could think of these inflatable modules as a big spacesuit,’ he said. ’The fabric is extremely tough and durable, but also designed to be as lightweight as possible. Unlike rigid metallic structures that can shatter or bend if hit by a micrometeorite, flexible material is able to recover to a certain extent.’ [...]
A promising candidate is US company Bigelow Aerospace, which was founded by ...

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