As part of the $19.3 billion allocated by Congress to NASA for the 2016 fiscal year budget, $55 million will go towards accelerated development of a habitation module for use in potential deep space missions.
According to Space News, the report states “NASA shall develop a prototype deep space habitation module within the advanced exploration systems program no later than 2018.” Further, the agency is required to provide Congress with a status update on the project within 180 days of the appropriation bill’s enactment.
The $55 million will come out of the $350 million Exploration Research and Development line item in the budget.
With the Orion Spacecraft, NASA hopes to send humans as far as Mars. However, the habitable volume of the crew capsule is only around 316 cubic ft.
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