FTL Design Engineering
NASA Johnson Space Center
Copyright © 2003 SAE International
The Advanced Inflatable Airlock (AIA) System is currently being developed for the Space Launch Initiative (SLI). The objective of the AIA System is to greatly reduce the cost associated with performing extravehicular activity (EVA) from manned launch vehicles by reducing launch weight and volume from previous hard airlock systems such as the Space Shuttle and Space Station airlocks. The AIA System builds upon previous technology from the TransHab inflatable structures project, from Space Shuttle and Space Station Airlock systems, and from terrestrial flexible structures projects. The AIA system design is required to be versatile and capable of modification to fit any platform or vehicle needing EVA capability. During the basic phase of the program the AIA conceptual design and key features were developed to help meet the SLI program goals of reduced cost and program risk. Option 1 focused on development of key design features and testing of breadboard units to demonstrate effectiveness of the design solutions. This paper discusses the progress made during option 1 of the AIA program.