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X-Hab 2018-2019 Innovation Challenge: STARGATE inflatable crew-lock: Critical design review (short)

White, Brandon
Duewall, Justin
Bennett, Austin
Whiteley, Madison
Pankratz, Josh
Raymer Michael

Utilizing minimal physical space is paramount for all space-bound technology. Current airlock technology uses a rigid structure to aid in spacewalks and egress from the main capsule, however, the bulk and size of the airlock is often restrictive. In the 1950s and 60s, the Soviet Union attempted the implementation of an inflatable airlock on the Voskod II Earth-orbit mission. Due to failure in the design during the mission, a cosmonaut using the structure nearly died and designs for an inflatable airlock were shelved by other space nations. A self-deploying, stable inflatable airlock would minimize spatial consumption while maintaining the ability to conduct missions outside the spacecraft without complete depressurization. To achieve this end, NASA has tasked Oklahoma State University to design and fabricate a testable inflatable airlock for use in the GATEWAY missions through their eXploration Habitat (XHAB) program.