NASA, in collaboration with the National Space Grant Foundation, has revealed the six universities selected for the 2014 Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge. For the upcoming school year, teams from University of Colorado at Boulder; Rice University; Oklahoma State University, Stillwater; University of South Alabama, Mobile; University of Wisconsin, Madison; and University of Maryland, College Park will meet challenges in design, manufacturing, and assembly, and will test their systems and concepts for future deep-space habitats.
“The new X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge projects reflect the great creativity and innovation of the nation’s university students and faculty,” said Barry Epstein, NASA’s AES Habitat Systems domain lead at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Their energy and ideas expand the reach of our project engineers and of our deep-space human exploration technology development program.”
According to NASA, the challenge is to increase students’ interest in studies in spaceflight-related disciplines. NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate’s AES Program, through the Deep Space Habitat Project team, sponsors the technology challenge. NASA is dedicated to supporting research that enables sustained and affordable human and robotic exploration. This educational challenge contributes to the agency’s efforts to train and develop a highly skilled scientific, engineering, and technical workforce for the future.
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But will it fit into a lunar or martian lava tube? Self propelled portable structures anyone?