Lightweight, Inflatable Airlock Provides Greater Launch and Mission Flexibility

The Lightweight Materials and Structures (LMS) project will develop high-payoff structures and materials technologies that have direct application to NASA's future space exploration needs. LMS, in conjunction with Advanced Exploration Systems, is developing an inflatable airlock with high packaging density and efficiency, enabling extravehicular activity from any vehicle. The innovative, flexible structure significantly reduces launch volume and minimizes system mass. The team is leveraging existing work from inflatable structures efforts at NASA and industry and envisions future use for the airlock on Mars.