Pressure Vessels
Section 4.3.6.
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Airlock Hatch Configuration Notes

The first airlock will require 3 hatches: one on each end and one on the side. (The airlock is 9.6 feet long.)

              ______|:. . .:|______    
    LTV      /:::::::::...:::::::::\     Lunar      O
    End     ||:::::::::::::::::::::||    Habitat  _/|\   Explorer
          B ||......Airlock #1.....|| C  End        | | (approximately
            ||:::::::::::::::::::::||              / \   to scale)
             \_____________________/              |   \

Hatch A: When the Artemis stack is docked at a space station (or Shutttle Orbiter, or something), hatch A provides a path to the LEO support facility. In flight, hatch A is the crew egress route for EVA. Requires a berthing mechanism so it can be attached the LEO support facility. The same berthing mechanism is where we'd attach airlock #2.

If airlock #1 is big enough, it can be the permanent EVA support facility for the habitat; we can put the suits and their support equipment in there. So Airlock #2 can be smaller and lighter; it just has to function as an airlock. For extended use of the suits, though, we'll need quite a bit of volume for servicing the suits. Based on space station design experience, we'll probably need a whole single-module SPACEHAB for suit servicing.

Hatch B: Seals the LTV from the depressurized airlock in flight, during the translunar mission phase. After the descent stack separates, seals the end of the airlock against vacuum. Requires a berthing mechanism so the stack can be separated from the lunar transfer vehicle.

Hatch C: Seals the airlock from the Hab both in flight and on the surface. No berthing mechanism required in this scenario because it's permanently attached to the habitat.

There is no real reason for the hatches on the airlock and LTV to be different.

Because of the similarity of the Reference Missions's four pressure-holding hatches (three on the lunar base airlock, one on the LTV), they can be the same to reduce development costs.

Of course, there will be room for mass optimization. The hatch between the airlock and the moon base will never be exposed to space so it doesn't need any kind of thermal or meteroid shield, for example.

The opening mechanism for the hatch, with the rods and crank, would go on the inside of the airlock, except for Hatch A where it would face inside the moon base. The external bracing (those radial I-beam spokes radiating out from the little window in the hatch) goes toward the side which sees pressure -- the inside of the moon base for Hatch A, and the inside of the airlock for B and C.

Pressure Vessels

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