NASA Funds California Architect Students To Design Space Habitat For Mission

Posted by Ansa Varughese on Mar 05, 2013 03:40 PM EST
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, funded California university students to design a "space habitat" for astronauts planning to go on a 2020 lunar mission, reported the Design Build Source.
(Photo : Flickr)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, funded California university students to design a "space habitat" for astronauts planning to go on a 2020 lunar mission, reported the Design Build Source.

NASA selected students at California State Polytechnic University to build and design a vertically-positioned living quarters to house the astronauts while in space for 60 days.

The design is surely to be out-of-this-world and its part of NASA's eXploration Habitat Academic Innovation Challenge, a "competition designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines," according to the NASA website. 

NASA's space architecture is going to be an area of strong interest for the industry in terms of extending its space missions, reported Design Build Source.

"They [NASA] want to get an architect's point of view of how spaces are designed," Cameron Jacobson, a fifth-year architecture student, said in an interview with The Poly Post. "So, if you give it to an engineer, they're going to design it totally different. It's just the way we think versus how they do."

The design is already taking shape, with key components of the modular vessel focused on structure and functionality under gravity--foregoing the usual decorative interior design aspects.

The modular is aimed to be 30-feet high and will be a challenge for students to build the habitat with no walls, floors or ceilings and place the required furnishings and machineries on the circumference of the structure.

The habitat will house four astronauts and is required to protect their health well-being from "deep space" rocks under "extreme micro-living" conditions.

"It opens up my perspective to what you can do with a design degree like this," said fourth-year architecture student Garrett Sanne said in an interview with The Poly Post. "That it doesn't necessarily have to be architecture, you could be designing space habitats. You don't really look outside the box until you open yourself up to something like this."

The selected students will not only have NASA mentioned in their portfolio, they will have a year to conjure up their concepts then NASA will take a three-year period to bring their ideas to life by building the habitat.

"This is completely different, out of the ordinary and something we would never do before," Sanne said. "It's something I wanted to jump on to get out of the day in day out routine of the architecture stuff. You never get to do something that's out of this world."

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