Space travel is time-consuming and expensive. Thus, a “Common Habitat” that can be used by crew in microgravity (transit), one-sixth of Earth’s gravity (the lunar surface), and three-eighths of Earth’s gravity (the Martian Surface) with minimal adjustments to the internal configuration is ideal. The Common Habitat is a fully functional and outfitted habitat to be used in tandem with the Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle (MMSEV) as well as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE) rover and various other Martian lander concepts. I designed both vertical and horizontal configurations of the Common Habitat; future studies will evaluate both, and determine which configuration is better for the crew from a human factors perspective. Previous habitat studies have only investigated either vertical or horizontal configurations independently, thus no comparisons could be made between the two.
I utilized Rhino to model the 3D CAD habitats with the goal of being implemented into a virtual reality (VR) environment for evaluation. My work offers insight into which configuration will be most aptly suited for an Earth-independent, 1100-day mission for a four-person crew, as well as how the pressurized volume compares to other habitat concepts. Moreover, the constraints assigned corresponded to the dimensions of a pressure vessel currently in production as a rocket propellant tank which should translate to a less expensive habitat to manufacture. This study required both independent research into the design philosophies of the various subsystems and functions of the habitat, as well as consultation with experts in the respective fields.