The main idea behind the project meets several criteria that astronauts need while in space. Objects like this need to be small, if modular, even better, able to clean the air inside and capable of storing personal effects.
As it stands, the compartment occupies a volume of 53 cu ft (1,500 liters) and includes a workspace, storage area for belongings, room to change your clothing, and of course, the possibility to sleep. One other feature included is ventilators as stagnant CO2 is an issue in space and can even lead to suffocation. All that’s solved, and then some.
The design revolves around the use of something known as Acoustic Multipurpose Cargo Transfer Bags (AMCTBs), which are then filled with materials to be used in the construction of the module or the journey.
To build the module, an astronaut must take six AMCTBs, empty them out, and unfold four of them. Once unfolded, the four AMCTBs are connected using an intermediary segment and zippers, lots of zippers. In some cases, Velcro and snaps can be used.
One final feature the team included was being able to anchor the module down to the aircraft it’s in. By making use of simple carabiners, the compartment is secured in place and won’t be floating around the ship while you’re asleep.
Inside the module, not much is found; after all, it’s mostly meant for sleeping. But astronauts can find room for a couple of AMCTBs, a light, Velcro walls, and a folding workstation that's out of the way until you need it. Here, the inhabitant can place a laptop or a mug of morning coffee. Oh wait, never mind. I don’t think that last one will be in a mug; astronauts usually have foods and drinks stored in pouches to prevent spilling.
It's a simple idea, easy to use, and offers astronauts the necessary equipment they need to get a good night’s rest. Come to think of it, why didn’t I think of it. Maybe this summer is a good time for me to come up with something similar and sell it to NASA. Why not?