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NASA tests inflatable habitat for long-term space missions

Depiction of the HDU (credit: NASA)

NASA recently completed testing a partially inflatable habitat that could be used on future missions to the moon, Mars, or deeper into space.

This new habitat is yet another example of how NASA continues to make advancements in their efforts to explore the galaxy and search for extraterrestrial life.

The Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) was tested in the Arizona desert, which provided a somewhat Mars-like atmosphere. According to MIT’s Technology Review, “The current prototype housing unit has a hard cylindrical shell, contains four rooms, two outside additions for dust mitigation and hygiene, and an inflatable component that adds a second level for sleeping and relaxing.”

The video below provides a virtual tour of the unit.

Technology Review explains that the unit could be adapted for use on the moon, mars, an asteroid, or even used as a free-flying space habitat.

The results gathered from the unit’s testing were presented this week at the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space 2011 conference in Long Beach, California.

Jason McClellan

Jason McClellan is a UFO journalist and the producer/co-host of the web series Spacing Out! He is also the web content manager and staff writer for OpenMinds.tv, and a co-organizer and technical producer of the International UFO Congress. As a founding member of Open Minds, Jason served as a writer and editor for the now defunct Open Minds magazine. He has appeared on Syfy, NatGeo, and, most recently, he co-starred on H2's Hangar 1: The UFO Files. ------ Follow Jason on Twitter @acecentric and subscribe to Jason's updates on Facebook.

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