Getting safely back to earth from any space mission is a necessity. Every space mission is dependent on a 24-hour stand-by system which can operate as a regular return vehicle or as an emergency lifeboat. This system must be able to launch at any time and bring back the entire crew.Up until summer 2001 ESA and NASA were cooperating on the Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) which was supposed to be the new generation return vehicle from the International Space Station (ISS) back to Earth. A replacement for the old Soyuz-pod was needed.Before the CRV-project was suddenly terminated in summer 2001 I was working on a proposal for the complete internal design of the CRV, as a diploma project towards a Master’s degree in architecture. I contacted ESA/ESTEC, who accepted my wishes for visiting engineers behind the CRV-project and for receiving technical information.My objective was to create a complete internal design which would comply with technical requirements and also to create a lifeboat environment which was based on human psychological and physiological needs in an emergency situation and not on regular “bottom-up” engineering approaches and results.A complete study from ingress to egress was done. A one-to-one scale seating mock-up was created in order to test concepts and answer many questions. Complete interior designs were created and original concepts by ESA were altered.In this paper I will demonstrate the design methods used and present the results from the work done on the interior design of the CRV.The diploma project was carried out over a period of 100 days in spring 2001 with assistance from ESA/ESTEC and Falck A/S. The project was rewarded the “Annual Design Award, National Bank of Denmark” in 2001.