Hawking II , Spacesim's habitat, is where the
astronauts live throughout the course of the mission. The Hawking was
designed and built by members of Spacesim several years ago; since then, it
has only undergone some minor repairs and renovations.
During the 96-hour mission, the student astronauts blast off
from Earth in the Hawking to rendezvous with the AYSE Drive in Earth orbit.
The Hawking then escapes orbit and departs with the astronauts for its
mission destination. While in transit, the astronauts prepare Hawking for
the descent onto the surface of the target planet.
A stay in the Hawking is a test of students' patience and
endurance. The astronauts work in close quarters for four days, isolated
from the outside world. Such conditions can be difficult.
PARTS OF THE HAWKING II
There are six rooms that compose the space that the
astronauts will be living in for 96 hours: the Interlock, the Hotlab,
Longhouse, Interconnect, Airlock, and, finally, the Washroom.
Interlock is the primary module of the habitat.
It has the capability to dock four additional modules off of it. The
Interlock (at right) also acts as the command module, from which the
astronauts can monitor the status of the habitat and the mission.
The Hotlab is the module where the astronauts run all their
experiments. It consists of a quarantine unit (the Hotbox),
a small airlock for passing samples out to the surface, and room to store
mission equipment and chemicals. In 2007, the Hotlab underwent a major
refit which significantly decreased its volume to reduce the Habitat's
The Longhouse contains the astronauts' living quarters.
It contains six bunks, storage space for personal effects, and a complete
kitchen. The Longhouse also contains the emergency airlock.
The Airlock is a small module that allows
astronauts to pass safely out to the planetary surface, and also has extra
space to store EVA suits.
The Interconnect serves two major purposes:
- As its name suggests, it connects the Interlock,
Longhouse, and Washroom to each other
- It also stores the Habitat's water supplies and
The Washroom contains a sink, chemical toilets, and
The Habitat was rebuilt during the 2001-2002 school year,
and it now features several new components. The blueprints, designed by
Ross Green, are available online, and can be accessed here, or from the Downloads page in the