Sierra Space, a commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, has announced the recent completion of its first successful Ultimate Burst Pressure (UBP) test for the Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) habitat. The test was sponsored by Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2) Appendix A Habitat Systems project, which is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and was performed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. NASA softgoods subject matter experts and ILC Dover collaborated on the test.
The test, which is the first of two sub-scale burst tests scheduled for 2022 in support of Sierra Space’s softgoods certification, used a one-third scale of Sierra Space’s LIFE inflatable habitat – which burst at 192 psi – exceeding the safety requirement of 182.4 psi. As a result, this stress test is among the highest publicly released data points for a softgoods UBP test at any scale. Sierra Space will plan the next sub-scale test for later this year.
“The LIFE habitat is one of the most innovative products designed and developed by Sierra Space and is essential for enabling humans to safely and comfortably begin to develop new civilizations in space,” said SVP and GM, Space Destinations, Neeraj Gupta. “The product has many applications in low-Earth orbit and for deep-space and surface habitation on the moon and Mars. LIFE will revolutionize humans’ ability to commercialize and explore space and we could not be prouder to achieve this important milestone. Sierra Space is leading the development of advanced inflatable habitat systems and continues to be the leader in softgoods inflatable systems and architectures.”
Sub-scale tests are used to support the overall full system development and to determine the ability of a vehicle to withstand the maximum internal pressure required to cause the failure of the vehicle’s pressure shell, commonly known as the restraint layer.
Click here to learn about LIFE habitat from Sierra Space.