Academic Principles of Human Space Habitat Design 2009-01-2547
The most basic design requirements for a space habitat intended for human occupancy are to provide the crew with the necessary metabolic consumables, remove undesirable waste products, and maintain environmental conditions that are conducive to life, health and operations. Propulsive transportation of the habitat to its desired location, either in orbit or to a planetary surface, and either with or without a crew onboard during transit, represents the next fundamental design driver. Both of these spacecraft elements are typically characterized by a common denominator expressed in terms of launch mass, and can be optimized against various parameters for risk mitigation and operational enhancement. This paper outlines a graduate curriculum developed within an academic focus area termed Bioastronautics in the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department at the University of Colorado (CU). A series of courses have been developed to address human spacecraft design, including characterization of the space environment, definition of vehicle subsystems, and consideration of the physiological and psychological stressors on the crew.