|dethalternate||Date: Sunday, 10-January-2016, 5:47 PM | Message # 1|
-- dragon lord--
|By Damon Poeter on December 30, 2015 at 3:23 pm|
Congress has instructed NASA to step up the development of a “habitation module” that can take astronauts on deep space missions. The omnibus spending bill passed by lawmakers earlier this month, which increases the space agency’s funding in 2016 by $1.3 billion, directs NASA to build a “prototype deep space habitation module within the advanced exploration systems program no later than 2018,” Space News reported this week.
A report accompanying the appropriations bill earmarks $55 billion for “habitation augmentation module” development, which would be overseen and paid for by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems program as part of the $350 billion the agency received for Exploration Research and Development in fiscal 2016.
NASA will have to report to Congress on its progress in developing the deep space habitat within 180 days of the spending bill’s enactment, according to Space News.
For now, agency officials aren’t revealing how and when the habitation module will be built and tested. Earlier this month, NASA International Space Station director Sam Scimemi said he was “not immediately aware of any specific plans” for the funding, Space News reported.
In mid-December, Scimemi did describe plans to begin testing a habitation module connected to a long-haul crew capsule in cislunar space “in the 2020s.” Congress apparently wants NASA to pull in that timeline by several years at least. Scimemi’s description of a “year-long ‘shakedown cruise’ in cislunar space to test the habitation module “by the late 2020s,” per Space News, doesn’t seem to jibe with lawmakers’ demand for results quite a bit sooner than that.
Read more/full article/source - http://www.extremetech.com/extreme....by-2018