RSC Energia patented inflatable space module for ISS
by Staff Writers
Moscow, Russia (SPX) Oct 20, 2015
Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia has taken out a patent for the invention of a transformable habitable module for the Russian Segment of the International Space Station (ISS) and future space stations.
The module consists of a rigid core compartment with a constant volume and a multi-layered transformable pressurized shall deployed around it. With that, the size and ergonomics of the rigid compartment fully match the working areas of conventional space station modules.
The transformable shell consists of different functional layers: for protection against meteoroids and radiation, thermal insulation, and external structural support layer. In the transportation configuration the shell is compactly stowed around the compartment, which allows launching the module inside payload fairings of the launch vehicles that are currently in use. In space it is deployed into the working configuration, the pressurized volume is increased by several times.
The size and shape of the rigid load-bearing compartment, make it possible to accommodate within the module additional radiation protection in the form of an instrumentation rack covering the constant volume useful area, which results in better crew protection during their long-duration stay onboard the spacecraft.
It is expected that the use of transformable modules will make it possible to increase the useful pressurized volume of the ISS Russian Segment and of the future space stations, will provide a more effective crew protection against ionizing radiation, meteoroids and particles of space debris as compared with rigid compartments.
In stowed configuration the inflatable structures have good mass and dimensions characteristics, which is an advantage when they are put into orbit on the existing and future launch vehicles, and also when transported to the launch site by rail and by air.
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