Bigelow Aerospace + Atlas 5 Rockets = New Space Station

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spacester

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Excellent post, SLJ. Spot-on.<br /><br />I would just add that almost everyone I know of who strongly supports space tourism sees it as a means to an end. It's not about showing the rich folks a good time, it's about prying some semi-megabucks out of their bank accounts and leveraging that revenue stream to morph our species into Spacefarers. It is generally assumed that we'll all be much better off after we get to that goal. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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holmec

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>What is the cost to the environment though? <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />I hate questions that are philosophically driven that really demand a figure but the philosophers can't give figures because its just a fantasy anyway. And yet they neglect that they are CARBON BASED LIFEFORMS!<br /><br />If your worried about carbon emmissions, here there are two things:<br /><br />1. WK's engines<br />2. The rocket.<br /><br />I heard a statement saying they may be able to run the engines on something other than petrol based fuel, ie Hydrogen? in the future.<br /><br />I think were stuck with the rocket, but its quite small and operates as 50,000 ft and above.<br /><br />But if your really worried about carbon in the atmosphere, then:<br />1. stop mining<br />2. scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and take it out of the carbon cycle<br /><br />or else<br />3. stop whining. <br /><br />Doing anything else is not a solution. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Yes, in a time when we need to reduce CO2 emissions, switching to launchers that guzzle hydrocarbons at high rates is sending the wrong message.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />This is not a pseudo philosophical-political agenda. This is rocketry. <br /><br />IOW why are you applying an unproven (IMO false) solution to a worldwide problem in a new technology? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>You are assuming that Bigelow plans on making 100% of his revenue from guest room fees.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />I imagine there is more than one way to skin this rabbit. I would think Bigelow is trying to sell the whole adventure, not just rooms. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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phaze

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Would prostitution be legal in space? What if, instead of a hotel...<br /><br /><br />
 
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j05h

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<i>> Would prostitution be legal in space? What if, instead of a hotel... </i><br /><br />A space vehicle is putatively under the laws of the launching nation, so probably not. This doesn't mean that "massage services" or something wouldn't be offered, but the general assumption seems to be that for first-gen space hotels the loving will cost you another seat for your wife/GF/sig.other. <br /><br />Space holds huge potential following further industrialization for "gray market" services, but my impression is that it is both far in the future and likely to be medical/gene procedures more than sex, drugs n rock-n-roll. Time will tell. <br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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racer7

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>A space vehicle is putatively under the laws of the launching nation, so probably not.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote>I'm pretty sure prostitution is locally regulated (see Nevada). Sex in space is going to be tricky anyway. You're probably going to need a lot of velcro or straps and then there is the problem of liquid floating everywhere.
 
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Huntster

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That's what the zero-gee showers are for... <img src="/images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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thereiwas

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Climate change is not a "philosophical-political" problem. Dealing with it is more important than manned space programs, public or private.
 
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holmec

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Climate change is not a "philosophical-political" problem. Dealing with it is more important than manned space programs, public or private.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Not Climate change, but the short sighted solution they came up with will not make anything better. The proposed solution of "limiting your carbon footprint" does nothing for the environment because it doesn't change the basic carbon content of the carbon cycle in the air and animal and plant life environments. Its barking up the wrong tree.<br /><br />And there is no evidence that managing the"carbon footprint" of every little thing does any good. So I suggest to leave the "pseudo poli-science" out of this and not hinder real progress in the human exploration.<br /><br />Not to mention that space exploration and study might lead us to defend ourselves against a much bigger danger, an asteroid strike. Which have the potential to eliminate life on earth.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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spacelifejunkie

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"Dealing with it is more important than manned space programs, public or private."<br /><br />Before I go too far along I want to state for the record that I do believe the earth is warming up. I also believe that there is no consenses on the cause. But, let's error on the side of caution and see if we can't solve this potential problem. The REAL solution is technology. Space exploration can help solve the fossil fuel addiction here on earth by investigating alternative sources of energy (solar, nuclear, etc.). <br /><br />With falling launch prices, increasing launch rates, and the weight reduction in modern solar cells, space solar power may be the solution.<br /><br />Or, maybe the late Dr. Bussard's IEC fusion experiments (motivated by the desire to explore space!) will be the path. <br /><br />Maybe, it's none of the above. Science and innovation will let us know. Penny - ante style carbon offsets do WAY more to impede our progress toward carbon free energy than setting the launch industry loose. <br /><br />This dilemma is not an either/or situation. We can be a spacefaring society with RP1 AND fight the good fight on solving our environmental issues. <br /><br /><br /><br />SLJ <br /><br />
 
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nuaetius

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Climate change is not a "philosophical-political" problem. Dealing with it is more important than manned space programs, public or private.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Sorry, but it is philosophical-political. The reason I say this is that just like every problem that humanity tries to solve their are many different philosophies that can be used to "fix" the problem. Anarchists would let it run it's course and those that survive the climate change be the better for it. Communists would give each human a designated carbon max, Socialists would restrict the carbon emissions of the products sold by industry, and a capitalist would try to find a way to speer the private sector to fix the problem. <br /><br />Don't be offended, all philosophies believe that their way of fixing the problems of humanity is the best way. Why do you think that must of us here that that space is the answer to most the worlds problems?<br /><br />
 
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nimbus

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I don't think space is the answer to most of humanity's problems. Humantity's problems are by and large resolvable at a very fundamental level, which is why religion and very basic philosophies are at the root of most debates.<br /><br />Space is nonetheless something I think should get much more attention, because it has been neglected far too much for all it has to offer. And it's my opinion that space has been neglected this way because of a common flaw of humanity, which leads to one of its typical problem patterns: fear of the unknown, contempt for what seems like comfort and ease of life as good as it gets; stagnation.<br />"Living near the bottom of the rabbit's hairs" as it was put in "Sophie's world".<br /><br />I believe it's man's destiny to reach and capitalize on all he can grasp to the maximum, and space is just begging for that grasping and milking, whether it's scientific, economic, leisurely or any other aspect. It's man's duty to make the most of his time alive, and that in addition to expanding his time alive are two of the top goals on his short list. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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docm

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If it weren't for the space program many of the problems whose solutions you hold so dear would not have been discovered in the first place. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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nimbus

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I don't see what you mean. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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docm

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<font color="yellow">I don't think space is the answer to most of humanity's problems. Humantity's problems are by and large resolvable at a very fundamental level,</font><br /><br />And in reply I stated that many of those problems would not have been discovered without the space program, therefore rendering them unsolvable and your concern over them null.<br /><br />What's hard to understand? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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j05h

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<i>> I don't think space is the answer to most of humanity's problems. Humantity's problems are by and large resolvable at a very fundamental level, which is why religion and very basic philosophies are at the root of most debates. </i><br /><br />Does the Law of the Jungle reign supreme? Is space the answer to the jungle?<br /><br />Weather satellites. Worldwide telecommunications. Missile-observing sats. SeaWIFS, Lansat, GPS, all the probes that have taught us how our sister-worlds evolved. Most of these are observation-based tech, the future promises products in & from outer space. Satellites have saved countless lives, especially in weather evacuations and balance-of-power issues. <br /><br />In future space development can provide beamed power to the world. Orbital broadband will connect everyone in a seamless web. Biotechnology, micromanufacturing, infrastructure design and vast new industries can be accelerated by space homesteading - directly benefiting Earth in patents, products/research and delivered products & resources. Deeper in the future, mass immigration to space destinations is possible if unlikely from our vantage in 2008. Space is the best outlet for creating the next stage of the Industrial Revolution. <br /><br />Space development is within reach but expensive, as we've been discussing in this thread. It is extremely encouraging that Bigelow is moving toward a launch solution.<br /><br />Does the potential of space development have an impact on Humanity now? Is my argument for it persuasive? <br /><br />Josh <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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nimbus

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Why you think those technical problems are as or more significant than the fundamental problems at their root. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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nimbus

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I'm not trying to downplay the significance of space science, exploration, exploitation, colonization, or any aspect of space.<br />I'm saying that by and large people don't see space as a continuation of everything they already strive for, and that that's what the real problem of humanity is - not the technical challenge of finding the right design in economic and mechanical (etc) terms but humanity's ethical flaws (up to this day) that lead to unnecessary conflicts of all scales, to a large portion of populations making no substantial contribution to progress by e.g. sitting on their ass watching TV and collecting welfare or insisting that traditions be continued for the sake of it and at the cost of progress, all these things that eventualy lead to space not being part of their picture of what to strive for.<br /><br />Working out how to get to and work things out in space is academic.. it's mostly math. People working out why they want to resignate themselves to less rather than more, is what the real "problem" is, in my opinion. You could mass colonize the solar system and still have those fundamental problems of humanity hampering progress the whole time. <br /><br />I'm saying humanity's real problems are ethical rather than technical. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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nimbus

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That's not what I'm saying. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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josh_simonson

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By and large the environment and general 'state of humanity' has been improving over the last 50 years or so. Poverty has been reduced, sustainable food production (despite what organic folks claim) has grown, air and water pollution have gone down (other than CO2), ozone harming chemicals have been phased out. The population is set to stabilize and start dropping mid-century, yet the average global lifespan is rising... <br /><br />IMO, the biggest problem that we've got is that due to the internet and satellite television, we see the problems of the entire world (live and uncensored) rather than just our little neck of the woods - leading to the impression that things are getting worse. The main consolation here is that we're pretty much saturated now. <br /><br />Global warming may be a problem, though with humans thriving in most every environment on earth I find the doomsday scenarios a little far-fetched, but like other problems we've encountered it'll eventually be solved for now. Of course then we'll be presented a moral quandary when the climate changes naturally - is mass extinctions due to natural climate change acceptable? Such problems will always present themselves for the rest of time - however we can't solve them by blaming 'progress', progress is a solution, not a problem, and progress in space exploration/utilization is a significant part of what will make the future even better than it is today. <br /><br />After all, where would we be if Einstein had decided not to go off to school out of fear of the carbon emissions he'd produce in traveling there?<br /><br />Even global warming is improving in that people in many places are taking it seriously and doing something about it. Eventually this attention will have the desired effect, but we need to be calm about it and avoid turning back the clocks on poverty, progress, and other environmental benchmarks in blind haste to alter the rate of climate change.
 
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eniac

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>would NASA not be interested in having some of these bigalow modules attached to ISS ?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote>Not just NASA. This is an International Space Station, after all. Any of the member countries could be interested. And non-member countries, too, so they could become members. <br /><br />It is quite possible that the US could lose some of its leading role on the ISS without the shuttle. There is a lot of money accumulating in China, and ambition to match. A few nice new shiny modules financed from the trade deficit would make a great orbital Chinatown. It could make the US section look like a ghetto.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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docm

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Why just a Chinese section of ISS when they could lease parts of a whole new station with more room, built faster and with fewer strings attached? <br /><br />The same could be said of many other nations, India comes to mind, and corporations who don't want deal with the restrictions in place at ISS.<br /><br />Edit: 50 Atlas V's is one helluva launch schedule. How many major launches does NASA plan over the next 7 years? ESA?<br /><br />BTW: that number came from FlightGlobal.com <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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