Deep Space
Solar System

Lockheed Martin reveals cylindrical habitat for future deep space missions

Lockheed Martin just revealed a prototype cylindrical habitat that might take astronauts into deep space in the future.
By Tyler MacDonald | Oct 18, 2019
Lockheed Martin just provided a look at the massive cylindrical habitats that might eventually be used to house up to four astronauts on deep space missions. Lockheed is one of six contractors that NASA gave a combined $65 million to create a prototype by the end of the year.

Lockheed's unique designharnessestheDonatello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, which dates back to the space shuttle era. Although the Donatello never ended up transferring cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) as it was intended, it is now playing a new role in Lockheed's prototype.

"You think of it as an RV in deep space," said the program's manager, Bill Pratt. "When you're in an RV, your table becomes your bed and things are always moving around, so you have to be really efficient with the space. That's a lot of what we are testing here."

The team also saved lots of money by reusing Donatello.

"We want to get to the moon and to Mars as quickly as possible, and we feel like we actually have a lot of stuff that we can use to do that," Pratt said.

The project's long development time is mostly due to the demands of deep-space spacecraft, as well as the conditions that it will face on its 1000-day mission to Mars. In fact, NASA requires that the Orion crew module is created with absolutely no weld defects, compared to the Apollo mission, which allowed for a specific number of defects per inch.

"This is the infrastructure for sustained human space exploration and so you have to account for every scenario that could come up, that's why the requirements are so stringent," said Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's commercial civil space division.


We are dedicated to maintaining a respectful community that actively engages in lively discussions about news stories and blog posts. Please keep the following in mind when writing your comments.