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  • Satellite Evolution

Airbus LOOP: Redefining space habitation for human exploration

Airbus has unveiled its LOOP multi-purpose orbital module system which is designed to make long-term stays in Space more comfortable and enjoyable for its inhabitants. This novel orbital module - or any element of it - can become part of any post-International Space Station (ISS) and other future in-space infrastructure, be they commercial or institutional.

Artist view of Airbus LOOP – Copyright Airbus Defence and Space

The reconfigurable multi-purpose module consists of three decks on three levels. In the original design, these are a Habitation Deck, a Science Deck and a Centrifuge that can create gravity conditions for the inhabitants, reducing the stress of weightlessness on the human body. The decks are connected via the ‘Tunnel’ which is surrounded by a greenhouse structure at the centre of the modules. With a diameter of 8 meters (or roughly 26 feet), the module is designed for a four-person crew; however, it could accommodate up to eight astronauts at a time.

The Airbus LOOP is designed to fit with the upcoming generation of super-heavy launchers that can launch an entire module in one piece. Thus, the Airbus LOOP would be immediately operational once in orbit, ready to host humans and payloads.

Building on Airbus’ substantial heritage in major human spaceflight programmes such as the ISS Columbus Module, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) and the Orion European Service Module (ESM), the Airbus LOOP fully exploits the potential of tomorrow’s technologies in order to best support humanity's future in Space: In Low-Earth or Lunar Orbit, or on long-term missions to Mars.


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