SpaceTech develops structural parts for Lunar Gateway I-HAB module
The Lunar Gateway is a key element in the Artemis Program, a NASA-led international manned spaceflight program, currently scheduled to orbit the Moon starting in 2024. The Gateway will be used as an outpost for astronauts on their way to the Moon, and as a laboratory to carry out scientific research. The I-HAB is a pressurized module that will provide the crew’s living quarters, resources for pressurized and unpressurized scientific experiments; plus docking ports to supply vehicles in transit.
Thales Alenia Space is leading the race in the development of pressurized modules, providing half of the pressurized volume for the International Space Station and the first two pressurized modules for the AXIOM commercial space station. In addition to the development of the I-HAB module for the Lunar Gateway, Thales Alenia Space will design and manufacture the ESPRIT refueling and communications module and the HALO (Habitation and Logistics Outpost) module in partnership with Northrop Grumman.
Being part of the all-SME consortium with SPACE STRUCTURES GmbH as prime contractor, SpaceTech, signs responsible for the development and manufacturing of a mechanism, allowing for the hinging in and out of the secondary structure. This hinging mechanism is a key part, providing access to the astronauts on board to important devices, tubes or valves that are placed on the exterior shell or behind the solar panels of the spacecraft for maintenance, modification or repair. SpaceTech focusses in the development on accessibility, reliability, operability on the ground for integration and by astronauts in weightlessness.
Image credit: Thales Alenia Space