SHEE – a Self-deployable Habitat for Extreme Environments – Exploitation and lessons learnt from testing
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The first European simulation habitat SHEE, Self Deployable Habitat for Extreme Environments, was built within three years (2013 – 2015) under a EU framework contract. Under the lead of the International Space University, France the consortium comprised LIQUIFER Systems Group from Austria, COMEX from France, Space Application Services, Belgium, University of Tartu, Estonia, Sobriety and Space Innovations, both from Czech Republic. SHEE is a rigid segment deployable habitat test bed designed for use in space analogous environments. The objective of the SHEE project was to develop a self-deployable habitat test-bed that will support a crew of two for a period of up to two weeks in duration. During this time the habitat will provide for all of the environmental, hygiene, dietary, logistical, professional, and psychological needs of the crew. For habitat simulation purposes and for other research, SHEE can be moved to various terrestrial analogue sites by standard commercial, thus cost effective, transportation. The habitat was tested in the areas of subsystems performance, interior operations, effectiveness of the SHEE habitat as a self-deployable and foldable autonomous system. This will be the focus of the paper. It will further be described how these tests can inform future anticipated operations in the field and any other future exploitation opportunities. One example could be the SHEE deployment as part of the Moonwalk FP7 campaign in Rio Tinto, Spain in April 2016. Rio Tinto is an internationally recognised Martian analogue site, mainly because of the presence of extremophile aerobic bacteria that dwell in the water. The project Moonwalk focuses on human-robot interactions and the team will conduct two simulation missions as preparation of future exploration missions. It is currently planned that the SHEE habitat could become one of the elements to be tested as part of the Mars related simulation in Rio Tinto.