A large, lightweight, economical, easy to manufacture human habitation module is being manufactured by Nasa. This space habitation module called transhab is still in its development stages.
Transhab is a 3-storey inflatable that can be blown up with the help of nitrogen gas in approximately 10 minutes. At launch, transhab has a diameter of 14 feet and once it is inflated it will have a diameter of 27 feet and volume of 12,000 cubic feet.
We might wonder that Transhab, being an inflatable must be susceptible to meteorites and projectiles flying in space. To overcome this threat, it is built using materials that deflect such projectiles. Its outer skin is composed of 24 different layers that are designed to break tiny particles.
The outer layer provides insulation from temperatures in space that can range from –200 f to +250 f. This layer is made up of Mylar. Layers of Nextel cloth used along with foam rubber and Kevlar fabrics provide protection from debris. Woven Kevlar fabrics hold the shape of transhab together. Layers withstanding pressure are made up of airtight combitherm material alternated with layers of Kevlar. The inside layer is made up of nomex wall for scratch protection.
The central core is made up of lightweight carbon fiber composite materials. It is a hard tunnel divided into three floors and dividers between various compartments. A central passageway provides access to all the levels. The dividers are unfolded when the module is inflated.
The interior of this module is divided into three floors. The galley and dining table are located on the first floor; six sleeping compartments on the second floor and on the third floor exercise space, medical areas and bathrooms are located.
The technology of inflatable will find its use in future space exploration for building up mobile homes in moon or mars. A concept like transhab will pave the way of future in space.