Bigelow Aerospace has revealed a concept for an ambitious lunar habitat called First Base. The company claims the habitat could accommodate a crew of four for long-duration missions or a crew of six for up to 120 days.
The First Base habitat has an interior volume of 330m³. It includes six large crew quarters, storage space, two toilets and two galleys. On either side of the habitat, two double-compartment airlocks lead into opposing propulsion and warehouse structures. The first of the two warehouse structures is big enough to house a large solar array field to power the habitat. The second is big enough to house two “full-scale, two-person cabin enclosed lunar rovers.”
The announcement was made on the company’s rarely-used Twitter account. A new tab with the same information was also added to the Bigelow Aerospace website. It is, at this stage unclear if the First Base habitat has any funding, backing or support from any national or commercial entities.
Bigelow Aerospace is probably best known for BEAM, an inflatable International Space Station module that was launched in 2016. It had initially been scheduled to be jettisoned from the station after a two-year validation period. However, after positive results, the module was retrofitted for storage and has remained a part of the station.