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NASA shortlists six firms to develop habitats for Red planet

US space agency NASA has selected six US companies to develop habitats for Mars mission. This step comes in a bid to help advance the manned flight to Red planet as these firms will be responsible to develop prototypes and concepts for deep space habitats.


NASA shortlists six firms to develop habitats for Red planet

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: US space agency NASA has selected six US companies to develop habitats for Mars mission. This step comes in a bid to help advance the manned flight to Red planet as these firms will be responsible to develop prototypes and concepts for deep space habitats.

Habitation systems provide a safe place for humans to live as scientists move beyond Earth on the journey to Mars.

Through the public-private partnerships enabled by the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2), NASA and industry partners will expand commercial development of space in low-Earth orbit while also improving deep space exploration capabilities to support more extensive human spaceflight missions.

"NASA is on an ambitious expansion of human spaceflight, including the Journey to Mars, and we're utilising the innovation, skill and knowledge of the both the government and private sectors," said Jason Crusan, director of NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems, in a statement.

The next human exploration capabilities needed beyond the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion capsule are deep space, long duration habitation and in-space propulsion.

"We are now adding focus and specifics on the deep space habitats where humans will live and work independently for months or years at a time, without cargo supply deliveries from Earth," Crusan added.

The selected companies are Bigelow Aerospace, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada Corporation and NanoRacks.

The six partners will have up to approximately 24 months to develop ground prototypes and/or conduct concept studies for deep space habitats.

(With IANS inputs)

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