Operations concerning the moon, libration points, asteroids, and near planets such as Mars are all considered significant objectives towards the expansion of human space exploration. As an important step in this process, manned platforms in Earth’s proximity may be used to support exploration missions as well as long-duration microgravity research. Hence, the SSDW 2015 looked at the cis-lunar space in order to establish a long term human presence in the Earth-Moon vicinity, while leaving the decision about the specific purpose of the space station up to the two teams.
After a five-years break, the SSDW was held again at the Institute of Space Systems and challenged the participants with a wide-ranging task in an interdisciplinary setting. The workshop would not have been possible without the commitment of individuals and the support from sponsors: the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Astos Solutions, TESAT Spacecom, ThalesAlenia Space, OHB and the Federal ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
32 students and young professionals from all over the world with diverse backgrounds in engineering, physics and economics were selected to take part in the Space Station Design Workshop 2015. Two competing teams developed concepts for a multi-purpose platform with a modular design and public-private-partnership engagements.
The technical program was accompanied by team building events and social activities such as an egg-dropp challenge from the IRS roof or night outs in Stuttgart. These activities supported both the motivation of the particpants and the teamwork.
Team Blue – Space Station “Selene”
Team Blue envisioned a space station with a prominent radial solar panel design. The station is designed for aminimum crew of three for maintenance and experimentation. A maximum of six astronauts can be accommodated every year. An inflatable habitat, conventional rigid structures modules for in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and a space workshop account for roughly 160 tons and 764 m³ of pressurized volume. The mission concept is divided in three phases with a total mission duration of 18 years. With a construction beginning in 2025 and the completion of Phase 1 a year later, the preliminary station will consists of just two modules and part of the solar panel but will already be manned with a crew of three. By mid-2027, the full station is assembled and the complete solar panel are installed. After completion the station shall be operational for 15 years.
Team Red – Space Station “NEXUS”
The competing concept of Team Red houses a crew of eight with mission durations between a year and two years. Two rigid and two inflatable modules are arranged around a central node, where a mobile platform with two robotic manipulators enables sample caching and refuelling. A re-usable solar electric propulsion (SEP) tug enables fuel-efficient transport of modules and can be utilized to service satellites in GEO. With a total mass of 300 tons, the design offers over 900 m³ of pressurized volume. The construction phase is envisioned to begin in the year 2024, with a fully operational station roughly six years later, where the launch rate of the Space Launch System (SLS) is assumed to be the limiting factor. Phase 2 marks the beginning of nominal operations with a lifetime of ten years during which a total of 80 astronauts can be accommodated.
Egg Dropping Contest
Space Stations Models