For the upcoming lunar return missions, the astronauts will be staying on the surface of the Moon far longer than they did during the Apollo. They’ll need someplace safe to live.
NASA is currently planning that humans will set foot on the Moon again, starting in 2020. The first four-person crews will only stay for 7-days, but over time, as a lunar base builds up, more people will stay longer, eventually stretching missions out to 180 days.
The agency recently unveiled a prototype inflatable lunar module that the astronauts might call home. The 12-foot (3.65 meter) diameter inflatable structure is made of multiple layers of fabric.
Over the next few years, engineers will test out the inflatable habitat, to see if it’s tough enough and provides the right amount of space and radiation shielding to provide astronauts with a good shelter on the Moon.
Original Source: NASA News Release