Mars colonization may still be a few years away, but aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has already come up with an idea for a space motel. Now this motel ain’t no “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” but you surely can experience “Star treatment” if you’re an astronaut en route to Mars.
An early prototype has already been developed with a purpose of creating a staging point for a voyage to the red planet, an asteroid or any another deep-space destination. Lockheed Martin unraveled the first prototype of the space habitat at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The cylindrical module is 22 feet long and 16.5 feet wide.
It has space for four astronauts and they can live for up to 60 days before going out in deep space again
“It’s a lot like being in an RV, where you’re constantly re-configuring the space, The couch and the table become your bed, and you’re constantly moving and shuffling things around” said Bill Pratt, manager of the deep-space habitat program at Lockheed Martin.
But don’t you worry, this space motel isn’t just for sleeping and well, getting bored. You can also exercise, perform backyard science experiments (probably not backyard) and use the loo!
The space habitat is actually a refurbished Donatello Cargo Container. However, Donatello never could fly in space, so Lockheed Martin decided to take it for a spin and give back its dreams. LM is making full use of the $65 Million contract it signed with NASA to design a deep-space habitat as part of the agency’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) program.
However, Lockheed Martin isn’t the only company to do so. Boeing, Orbital ATK, Bigelow Aerospace, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems and NanoRacks also signed a deal with NASA and are making their own habitats.
LM is planning to finish its first prototype by November of this year, and NASA will begin the initial tests early next year. Stay tuned for more news and updates! Also, read more on the same here.