Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Inflatable Spacecraft

As all of us know inflatable objects are those that are designed to be filled with air or gas. When inflatable objects are not in use the air could be pumped out. This reduces their storage-space requirement and they could be squeezed into small canisters. But how could spacecraft be inflatable?

To answer this question, let us see what inflatable spacecrafts are how they could be suitably employed in the hostile space environment.

Inflatable spacecraft are made up of lightweight materials. They can be easily squeezed into canisters that are only a fraction of their full size. Upon arrival in space they can be inflated using a deployment system that releases inert gas to push the walls of the inflatable material.

Nasa and other space agencies of the world aim at reducing the cost of space travel. The space industry is constantly working towards cutting costs by using lightweight materials and alternative propulsion techniques (laser propulsion, microwave propulsion).

To understand the benefits of this technology let us consider an example of inflatable spacecraft, which is being constructed by NASA. This spacecraft is still in its developmental stages.


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