The demand for space related habitats is starting to emerge. For example, the Inspiration Mars (IM) Foundation proposed a mission to Mars that included an inflatable habitat. Additionally, test flights to ISS have been proposed that deliver inflatable habitats for increased research space as well as for housing precursor tests for long-duration missions such as IM. The IM architecture study proposed a pre-flight experiment to the ISS that could use the proposed HOUSE solution for the pressure structure. Bigelow Aerospace, for which TRLA built the now-flying units in orbit, has staked the company?s future on the use of inflatable structures. The potential post applications of the proposed are targeted for manned habitats including lunar surface system habitats, airlocks and other crewed vessels. The NextSTEP program, which seeks commercial development of deep space exploration capabilities, will support more extensive human spaceflight. Under the NextSTEP program, NASA seeks to support human spaceflight missions to beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO). Other potential post applications can range from NASA commercial applications including deployable antenna reflectors, solar collectors, solar sails, payload fairings, water storage tanks, cryogenic propellant tanks, greenhouse enclosures, debris shields, radiation shields, re-entry vehicles, large telescopes, propellant depots, rover vehicles, orbital debris removal systems, emergency escape vehicle (ISS), and Martian air ships.
Non-NASA application customers can include the Army and other DoD agencies in need of shelters. Other Non-NASA applications include: air bags, high altitude air ships, aerostats, compressed air energy storage, underwater habitats, underwater emergency escape systems (submarine), portable storage tanks for oil transport, remote fuel depot stations, remote water storage tanks for forest fire control, cargo lift balloons, large, deep space antenna reflector for ground stations, antenna radome, emergency shelters, and troop shelters with integrated ballistic protection.