Sunday, May 18, 2008
This winter, NASA, in conjunction with the National Science
Foundation (NSF) is testing an inflatable Lunar Habitat at
McMurdo and it's right behind the SSC (Science Support
Center). I walked over to it last night and took some
photos, but for the most part, it's out of sight, out of
mind for most people. I suppose that that isn't such a
bad thing because we can't go inside since they're measuring
the atmosphere inside with sensors
The inside is heated, insulated and is pressurized. There's
384 square feet of living space and has a eight foot ceiling so
I'm guessing it's fairly comfortable inside. It doesn't look
that cozy, but add a couch, coffee table, wide-screen plasma TV
and it would be quite the hangout pad.
NASA is looking into this type of structure (along with many others)
as a type of shelter for humans once we go back to the Moon. The
NSF is looking at alternative structures to send out to field camps
in the Antarctic that are easy to transport, set up, and have high
tolerance to damage.
So as I walked away from the habitat, I glanced back at it. There was
no wind, very still and very cold with lots of light coming from a
nearly full Moon. It felt other-worldly indeed.