Airbus LOOP and Super-heavies
LOOP is a new space station concept from Airbus. It is designed to be multi-purpose so could be used in orbit around the Earth or the Moon, or even on long-term journeys to Mars.
It has an eight meter diameter and three floors, meaning it will fit perfectly in one of the super-heavy launch vehicles such as SpaceX’s Super-Heavy (which just had its first successful test launch this week – congratulations!). It would launch in its complete form, so as soon as it is in space it is capable of supporting astronauts.
The lowest deck is a centrifuge, which means it spins around to create a similar experience to the gravity we experience here on Earth. This could be essential on a mission to Mars as a long time without gravity can effect a person’s body, making them weaker when they land on the planet and less able to move around.
The other two floors consist of living quarters on the top floor, and a science lab on the middle floor. There is even a ‘greenhouse corridor’ which connects all the floors, where fresh food can be grown and enjoyed. There’s a few windows too, perhaps looking down on the planet they are orbiting.
It’s good to see companies like Airbus – who employ 11’000 people here in the UK – thinking about how we may explore space, and one day get to Mars. And as the super-heavy launch vehicles start becoming the norm, we can prepare to see more and more incredible orbitals. Exciting times!
- Airbus LOOP https://www.airbus.com/en/airbus-loop
- Airbus UK https://www.airbus.com/en/our-worldwide-presence/airbus-in-europe/airbus-in-the-united-kingdom
- https://mediacentre.airbus.com/mediacentre/sharedBasket;jsessionid=F853DAC09227C8F4FBA40377395F0DE7.f1?token=bDPPDclDg (note, Airbus make it impossible to link to images so search for “LOOP”!)