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LEAP - Lunar Habitat
Space Architecture


NASA is pioneering the future of space exploration as we extend humanity’s presence further into the solar system. The 2021 RASC-AL Competition is seeking undergraduate and graduate teams to develop new concepts that leverage innovation to improve our ability to operate in space and on distant bodies. This year’s themes range from preparing for the next steps of our return to the Moon to innovating solutions for returning from Mars to designing architectures to visit Venus and Ceres. Each team’s response should address novel and robust applications to support expanding humanity’s ability to thrive beyond Earth. LEAP aims to meet the guidelines and criteria set for RASC-AL 2021 Theme 1 – Durable Low-Mass Lunar Habitat. LEAP was designed to accommodate a crew of 2 for a 30-day mission to explore the lunar surface and serve as a leaping point to further explorations of our solar system. Scroll through the slides to learn more about Artemis and humanity’s return to the Moon.





Near and Future Exploration Missions

After the initial Artemis mission lands the first woman and the next man on the Moon in 2024, the Artemis program will continue with longer and bolder missions on the lunar surface throughout the 2020s. A key enabling system for those future missions will be a habitat that can support the crew on the lunar surface as they continue the exploration of the Moon and prepare for future missions to Mars. To leverage developing commercial lander capabilities, NASA is interested in a low-mass habitat that can be used on the lunar surface.


Design Requirements & Constraints

For this theme, teams will design a durable, low-mass habitat that can support a crew of 2 for 30 days at the lunar south pole, with a dry mass limit of 6,000 kg. The habitat should be ready for first use in 2028, with an annual budget of no more than $1 billion per year from 2022-2028 (including delivery to the lunar surface). Teams should create a development timeline with a realistic technology portfolio that can credibly achieve that date. The habitat should be capable of re-use, as it will serve as the starting point for expanding to greater crew capabilities on the surface and for preparation for Mars missions. Thus, teams should identify how their habitat can be used to support both of these goals.



Human-Centered Design & Space Architecture

LEAP represents a harmonious balance between Human Systems Integration, Architecture Principles, and Industrial/UX Design complementing one another to build a sustainable and durable Lunar habitat.



Engineering Ingenuity


LEAP is optimized to pre-integrate every required system. The application of engineering and design thinking resulted in a space habitat fitted with state of the art engineering systems, communication systems, and life-support systems. This multi-system collaboration provides the most reliable, safe, and comfortable habitation for the crew during surface operations. To learn more, explore the slide show below.



Habitat Innovation


The LEAP Habitat is inspired by recreational vehicles (RVs) and their capability to expand and contract easily. The expansion of the habitat affords more capabilities for the crew’s mission, while the ability to retract specific areas of the habitat makes it easier to transport and deliver. Click through the slideshow below to learn more.




Human-Centered Design

LEAP Features



Optimized and designed to keep astronauts safe guarded from the dangers of distant outer space destinations.


Ready for habitation when crew members arrive on site.


The self-deployable habitat speeds up set up time and mission readiness.


The powerful use of the latest remote technologies unify all the systems within the habitat to work together seamlessly.


Pod attachments simplify connectivity with other habitats to create a sustainable settlement.

Fast Delivery

The habitat’s volume has been optimized to fit multiple delivery vehicles.


The University of Houston
MS in Space Architecture Program
Sasakawa International Center For Space Architecture



Gerardo Cambronero

Team Lead – Designer

Jasleen Kaur

Aerospace Engineer

Pranita Khedkar


Ricardo Miguel

Systems Engineer


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