Illustration of a manned Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) preparing to dock with an inflatable habitat (grey cylinder) attached to the International Space Station (ISS). This inflatable habitat, which is much larger than any existing ISS module, is a combination of layers of flexible material capped by sturdy docking hardware at either end. The inflatable portion is collapsed and sandwiched between the docking hardware portions for launch from earth and then inflated and pressurized with a breathable atmosphere once in orbit. The interior of the habit provides approximately five thousand cubic meters of micro gravity living space. Various CEV designs have been produced, including the Orion spacecraft for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). They typically carry a crew of 2 to 6 astronauts. The ISS orbits 400 kilometres above Earth. It holds a crew of six, and has been continuously occupied since November 2000.
September 16th, 2018
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