Development of a Partial Gravity Lunar Airlock

by David John Gutierrez, Johnson Engineering Corp, Houston, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV

Abstract:

The Planetary Projects Office (PPO) at the Johnson Space Center is developing design reference missions for human exploration of the Moon and Mars. Missions for both planets require a reliable infrastructure capable of transferring crews and cargo from Earth to a planet surface. Such an infrastructure system includes; launch vehicles, orbiting vehicles, landers, rovers, habitats and airlocks. One surface element that requires special attention is a lunar airlock. The airlock element is a transitional pressurizable volume used to transfer crew and cargo between a habitat and the lunar surface. The airlock is an important surface element which is used to support: human exploration; logistics; maintenance, repair & inspection of external systems/elements; medical emergencies; and contingency operations. The airlock in a planetary scenario, functions as the front door, back door and life line between the habitat and return vehicle/rover for the crew; it also may be a critical link in the resupply network of habitat consumables.



Subject Headings: Vehicles | Human factors | Planets | Space structures | Space exploration | Orbits | Logistics | Flight

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