Take A Look Inside NASA’s Next Generation Deep Space Exploration Craft

By Brian Williams | Published

This may look like a Hollywood set, but you are actually looking at a simulated mission to a Near Earth Asteroid courtesy of one of NASA’s coolest concept vehicles. The Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle (MMSEV) is currently the only thing on the books at NASA as far as human spaceflight goes that hasn’t been done before. The Craft used to be called the SEV until they had the idea that the cabin could be used on both a ground rover vehicle and as a free-floating space craft for possible missions to Near Earth Asteroids, making it a uniquely modular craft.

NASA keeps touting the Orion module as a deep-space exploration vehicle, but with suit ports on the back of the craft, robotic manipulator arms, positional lights, and the ability to host a crew for days in a cabin hardened against radiation events, the MMSEV is what we’ll really be using to explore objects in deep space.

The team at NASA’s Desert RATS program recently released this image of the inside of their MMSEV simulator in which they routinely do mock asteroid missions and see how smelly you can possibly get when you’re locked inside a simulator days at a time. The purpose of the Desert RATS is to test out NASA’s newest exploration technology concepts in the field. The vehicles and equipment they test are just proof-of-concept designs, so even though you may see numerous animations of the MMSEV in either rover or space-faring forms, these may not be the actual vehicles we use when we do finally get around to doing things outside of Earth’s orbit. Still looks cool though.

Here’s a short tour of the inside of the simulator…

And here is the NASA animation of what the MMSEV will hopefully be doing in the next decade…or two…