Students Design Inflatable Space Habitats

WASHINGTON, June 24 (UPI) — The U.S. space agency says it’s challenging the nation’s college students to design concepts for inflatable habitat lofts to be used by space explorers.

“The X-Hab Academic Innovation Competition is a university-level challenge designed to encourage further studies in spaceflight-related engineering and architecture disciplines,” NASA said. “This design competition requires undergraduate students to explore NASA’s work to develop space habitats while also helping the agency gather new and innovative ideas to complement its current research and development. The winning concepts may be applied to the exploration habitats of the future.”

The space agency said students will design, manufacture and assemble an inflatable loft that will be integrated into NASA’s operational hard-shell prototype lab unit. The competition winner will participate in a demonstration of the submitted design during the 2011 Desert Research and Technology Studies, or a similar field test next summer.

Information about competition registration and requirements is available at

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