This challenge is externally hosted.
You can view the challenge details here: https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933747
NASA is currently researching new flexible hatch seal device concepts for use within a new class of ultra-lightweight deployable hatch concepts for space vehicle application. Current metallic hatches require a large stowage volume and impose a large mass penalty during launch and throughout the mission. NASA desires to mature flexible seal technology to enable the development of new lightweight deployable hatch concepts to meet stringent mass and volume requirements for future space missions beyond near earth orbit (References. 1-5). The desired flexible hatch seal device is envisioned to be lightweight, foldable, operable with one hand, and stowable in a small volume. In the closed state the seal device will incur low loads across the seal and higher loads parallel to the seal length, and in the open state the seal will not incur load. The seal device will be integrated into a surrounding fabric-membrane material, which will provide limited stiffness during opening and closing operations. The development of a new flexible seal device will enhance the capabilities of future space missions by reducing mass and volume parameters. Target applications for the flexible seal device incorporated into a membrane-like hatch range from space station airlocks, Orion spacecraft, various exploration spacecraft habitation modules, and Lunar, and Mars surface habitation modules.