The International Space Station will cease operations after 2030.
China plans to take a leading role in the space station with Tiangong, while the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to build its own space station in up to 10 years.
NASA has also contracted three aerospace companies, including Blue Origin’s Orbital Reef, Axiom Space Station (AxS), and Starlab, to design commercial space stations.
The last step in space station projects came from Europe-based multinational aviation giant Airbus.
In a recently released video, the company detailed its Multi-Purpose Orbital Module (MPOP) offering called Airbus LOOP.
Three-level interior design 8 meters long
This modular space compartment contains three decks, a centrifuge and enough space for a crew of four, making it suitable for future space stations and long-duration Mars missions.
LOOP builds on the company’s long programs of manned spaceflight, such as the ISS Columbus Module, Automatic Transfer Vehicle (ATV) and Orion European Service Module (ESM).
The interior design consists of three levels. These include (from top to bottom) a Settlement Deck, Science Deck, and a Centrifuge that simulates gravity for two crews at once.
The module is 8 meters in diameter and roughly the same length, providing a volume of 100 cubic meters.
According to Airbus, dividing the interior into different decks provides an “internal safe harbor concept”, meaning crews can move onto the deck that offers the most protection in the event of a sunburst or other hazard.
The module is designed for a crew of four, but can reportedly accommodate (temporarily) eight astronauts at a time.