Advanced manufacturing experts from Manchester have revealed what human life in space could look like—with a graphene-enhanced space habitat developed to meet anticipated demand for human settlements beyond Earth.
A community of specialists at The University of Manchester have teamed up with global architect firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) to research the design and manufacturing of space habitats for the space industry.
With projections that the global space economy could grow to $1 trillion revenue by 2040, the innovation will raise the technology readiness level (TRL) of new lightweight composites using 2D materials for space applications.
In an international collaboration, Dr. Vivek Koncherry and his team—supported by the Manchester-based Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre—are creating a scaled prototype of a space habitat with pressurized vessels designed to function in a space environment.
SOM, the architects behind the world's tallest building—Burj Khalifa in Dubai—are contributing design and engineering expertise to the space architecture. Daniel Inocente, SOM's senior designer in New York, said that "designing for habitation in space poses some of the greatest challenges—it means creating an environment capable of maintaining life and integrating crew support systems.
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