LAS VEGAS — It’s been more than a year since NASA and SpaceX announced that the agency would begin work on a new space station in the near future.
Since then, several major space agencies, including the US Navy, have also expressed interest in hosting a human spaceflight program in low Earth orbit, but with little clarity as to what those sites might look like or what they would look like from space.
While NASA has been working on the plans, the US government’s own research agency, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has also been working to develop plans for the eventual construction of a permanent orbiting outpost.
NASA has proposed sites for the orbiting station, which would house two human habitats, and has also suggested that the station could house several large cargo capsules for the agency to launch and return to Earth, a plan which would require a massive amount of engineering and construction work.
But now, a group of aerospace engineers and engineers at the Jet Institute for Space Studies has developed a new plan for how to build a spacestation from scratch.
The new plan would include a series of interlocking modules that would form a single building, and would ultimately include the crew module, the habitats, the orbiting lab, and possibly a third outpost, the team said in a statement.
The plan would also include a modular system for the modules, allowing for modular construction of the orbiting facility, allowing the astronauts to move around the station in their spacesuits, and creating a modular environment to allow for testing, experimentation, and repairs.
“The concept is that the modules will be modular enough to support a full station for several astronauts, and they can then be assembled together for the orbital lab module and crew module in a modular manner,” the statement reads.
“A fully modular system would be possible with modules being separated for assembly and repair, or a simple modular system, allowing modular assembly of the crew and habitats modules as well.”
While the plan’s stated purpose is to “build an orbiting station from scratch,” NASA did not provide any further detail on how the team plans to accomplish this feat.
And while NASA has also proposed other ideas for space stations, the group of engineers believes that the new plan is the most technically feasible.”NASA has been talking about orbital stations for decades, and the JPL has a long history of developing and building space station architectures,” the group said.
“The new concept is to build from scratch using a modular, modular design for the ISS.
We hope to inspire the entire community to collaborate on this project.”