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.