Is This the Spaceship That Will Take Us to Mars?

Somewhere deep in the Marshall Space Center, in an unmarked beige hangar, NASA is building a spaceship. A spaceship built with spare parts, scrap hardware from the International Space Stations, a left-over aluminum-lithium cylinder and even museum mockups. One day, it may become the vessel that takes humans to Mars.NASA engineers lead by Paul Bookout are talking about it at the the Fifth Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium, happening now in Huntsville, Alabama. Bookouts team is working with a team from the Johnson Space Center in Houston led by astronaut Benjamin Alvin Drew, a USAF Colonel whos been to space twice, including on the last mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery.According to Bookout, the team is using its spaceship habitat to look at volume studies: “Are the crew quarters going to be the right size, the waste and hygiene compartment, the wardroom, the exercise area—were looking at all those for this extended stay.”The spaceship model that Bookout and his colleagues are building is a medium-fidelity version of the habitat that may shelter the astronauts that go to Mars for the first time. It includes crew quarters that are two times as big as the crew space in the ISS, with everything they need to survive, including food storage.Theres also a science bay that also serves as a greenhouse in which they will be able to grow plants during their trip. You know, just like in the movies.

via Is This the Spaceship That Will Take Us to Mars?.

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