Exploring the challenges of habitation design for extended human presence beyond low-earth orbit: Are new requirements and processes needed?

D.K.R. Robinson, Glenn Sterenborg, Sandra Häuplik, Manuela Aguzzi

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7 Citations (Scopus)


With the renewed interest in a sustained human presence beyond low-earth orbit, habitation in space, on planets and on moons is an area that requires re-evaluation in terms of mission and habitat design—there is a need for a paradigmatic move from a design focus on short-term LEO missions to that of long-term missions in LEO and beyond. We claim that a design lock-in may have occurred over the last 50 years which will need concerted effort to be unlocked and realigned to suit the emerging long-term mission paradigm. In this paper we explore some of the issues and possible ways of infusing relevant insights into the space habitat design approach by seeking to bridge lacunae in both the design process and training of the next generation space design workforce. As early career researchers we explore these issues in a moderate way and with limited resources, through an exploratory design workshop, organized under the aegis of the Aurora Programme, with the aim of exploring multidisciplinary design and a view to understanding the potential benefits of interdisciplinary approaches and possible gaps in the current space design paradigm. We touch the tip of a very large iceberg, but close the paper with first round recommendations for further exploration within the space design community and to be supported by national agencies.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)721-732
Number of pages12
JournalActa astronautica
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • METIS-248589
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Habitation
  • Habitat
  • Design
  • Moon
  • IR-79069
  • Mars

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