Lockheed Completes Deep Space Habitat Prototype

Lockheed Martin has completed the final version of a 13-foot-wide habitat prototype designed to support NASA’s deep space missions, Orlando Sentinel reported Thursday.

The company developed the habitat at Kennedy Space Center in Florida based on the refurbished Donatello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module and as part of NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships contract.

Lockheed is one of the six companies that received separate contracts worth up to $65M combined to help NASA research concepts and build ground deep space habitat prototypes under the NextSTEP program.

The habitat prototype features a modular design and has spaces for science and computers and beds to accommodate up to four astronauts for a month to 60 days.

Lockheed used virtual reality and augmented reality to develop the module’s interior and currently works on an artificial intelligence-based assistant – MAIA – to guide the crew and take commands.

“You want to minimize the time they are spending doing routine maintenance tests, so we really think use of a digital assistant could really help them,” said Bill Pratt, NextSTEP Deep Space Habitat program manager at Lockheed.

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