ESA has tested the airlock for the European block of the lunar station Gateway

An airlock seems like a simple enough thing. This is a section with a pair of doors that cannot be opened.

simultaneously, since one of them is under pressure. The airlock allows astronauts to go into outer space while maintaining pressure inside the station.

But creating it is not so easy. Such air locks, as a rule, are cramped, full of equipment and present all sorts of ergonomic problems - especially for astronauts who are in zero gravity. To solve them, ESA is testing a full-size model of such a gateway, built by Comex by order of Airbus, in the Marseilles Basin.

An underwater gateway mimics the conditions of weightlessness and allows the experiment organizers to improve its design.

The development of an airlock for ESA alsois carried out by Thales Alenia Space. Both designs will be presented at the competition next year, and the space agency commission will choose one of the options.