Bigelow Current Updates Thread....

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artemiit

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Interesting ! Very very interesting ! . From almost a year I am working on the project of a little Martian outspot made by three inflatable modules ( more solar panels and others structures ) . I have already posted ( in January 2010 ) on my Internet site http://www.carloartemi.it/images/gotomars.pdf a description of overall idea of mine to reach Mars with some preliminar informations about the base . I have already submitted to an international conference a complete description of base itself Clearly I and Mr. Bigelow have same , or very similar , ideas and I am sure I and Mr. Bigelow are right . Well , very well
 
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EarthlingX

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www.onorbit.com : NASA Is Looking for Inflatable Moon Base Module Designs
Submitted by keithcowing on Tue, 04/27/2010 - 17:44



NASA Langley Research Center has isued a solicitaiton that calls for: "The contractor will explore innovative approaches to deploying secondary structures and perform a conceptual design study of a deployable floor for the habitat demonstrator illustrated in the appendix. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a system applicable to future habitation modules deployed on the lunar surface or in space." The full solicitation and graphics are below.
 
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csmyth3025

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On the surface, it looks like NASA is seeking a design somewhat different from those that Bigelow is now developing. That said, it looks like Bigelow is in a very good position to adapt his company's design experience to meet the criteria in NASA's request for proposals. Maybe his ideas aren't as nutty as some people thought they were a year ago.

Chris
 
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nimbus

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It's not obvious why this design is better than Bigelow's current inflatables.. Anyone know?
 
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docm

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Here is the actual solicitation: Link....

The key portions being;

NASA LaRC Solicitation: Study of Deployable Secondary Structures for Expendable Volumes
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Description

NASA LaRC is seeking an industry partner to study the integration, deployment and packaging of secondary structures within inflation deployed volumes.
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STATEMENT OF WORK

1.0 General Description

NASA LaRC is seeking an industry partner to study the integration, deployment and packaging of secondary structures within inflation deployed volumes. Secondary structures include any structure that is deployed during or after expansion of the primary volume, such as the floor and work surfaces, but which do not contain pressure loads.

2.0 Scope of Work

The contractor will explore innovative approaches to deploying secondary structures and perform a conceptual design study of a deployable floor for the habitat demonstrator illustrated in the appendix. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a system applicable to future habitation modules deployed on the lunar surface or in space. Specifically, the contractor shall design a system to provide a floor system spanning 236 inches supporting a dead load of 7 lbs/sq ft and a live load of 5 lbs/sq ft with a deflection limit of L/300. The preliminary report and final report shall include detail material properties and limiting stresses, as well as analysis approach used. Deliverables will include a preliminary and final report detailing the design approach, selected materials and their properties, analyses performed and analyses results. A “rough order of magnitude” (ROM) cost estimate for a demonstrator of the technology shall also be provided.
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Now...we all know who has the most experience with "expandable modules", and we also know that Bigelow and NASA have been in very close contact over the years, but NASA cannot put a picture of a BA-330 or its floor system in the solicitation lest charges of the award being predetermined come over the transom. Better to make it look like anything but then change it later. Take that from someone experienced in writing undirected in form, but still directed in execution, purchase solicitations.
 
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nimbus

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Thanks, that'd make sense. I thought that accordion design didn't look right for something that'd be supposedly better than a Bigelow module.
 
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JeffreyNYA

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So I wonder how long it would take them to have all the components built for a moon base and if there is a way for them to get it there at that time without NASA? Would a strategy of "if you build it they will come" work for a moon base.

They spend the money to build and deploy it and then lease it out at that time? I suppose the problem is that we have no way to get people there yet. Guessing that would be the major holdup.
 
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danhezee

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That picture is amazing. I want a tour of the bigelow aerospace facility so badly
 
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tampaDreamer

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JeffreyNYA":1gactfs6 said:
So I wonder how long it would take them to have all the components built for a moon base and if there is a way for them to get it there at that time without NASA? Would a strategy of "if you build it they will come" work for a moon base.

They spend the money to build and deploy it and then lease it out at that time? I suppose the problem is that we have no way to get people there yet. Guessing that would be the major holdup.
And of course, picky picky customers will then demand a way to get back to earth as well.
 
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docm

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Did some image processing on that Bigelow base image. The lander-type propulsion bus has been modded: it now has more and longer 'legs' with a new mechanism, an air lock + platform + steps, a slight attachment mod (prob. for a tunnel to the air lock), a more refined looking skeleton and what looks like more thrusters.

Old lander bus concept image


Newer on-orbit bus concept image


Processed images from latest base model




Now for the vehicles, or at least the lunar lander. Looks a whole lot to me like a shortened, modded propulsion bus with an Orion Lite as the command module.

 
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James_Bull

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What an amazing technology. To me it seems crazy that NASA had to stop developing it promises so much. 3 BA-330 modules would be twice the interior volume of ISS!
I love the "super jumbo sized" module! Just think that one heavy lift rocket like Ares V could put up a space station with 3 times the living space of the ISS! Thats absolutely incredible bearing in mind ISS took so many payloads, modules and a decade to assemble... Its definately the way forward.
 
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docm

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NY Times story......


IN THE FUTURE Prototypes of Bigelow Aerospace’s Sundancer habitat, which has an inflated volume of 180 cubic meters, at a hangar in North Las Vegas.

In New Space Race, Enter the Entrepreneurs

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — At the Bigelow Aerospace factory here, the full-size space station mockups sitting on the warehouse floor look somewhat like puffy white watermelons. The interiors offer a hint of what spacious living in space might look like.

“Every astronaut we have come in here just says, ‘Wow,’ ” said Robert T. Bigelow, the company founder. “They can’t believe the size of this thing.”

Four years from now, the company plans for real modules to be launched and assembled into the solar system’s first private space station. Paying customers — primarily nations that do not have the money or expertise to build a space program from scratch — would arrive a year later.

In 2016, a second, larger station would follow. The two Bigelow stations would then be home to 36 people at a time — six times as many as currently live on the International Space Station.

If this business plan unfolds as it is written — the company has two fully inflated test modules in orbit already — Bigelow will be buying 15 to 20 rocket launchings in 2017 and in each year after, providing ample business for the private companies that the Obama administration would like to finance for the transportation of astronauts into orbit — the so-called commercial crew initiative.

President Obama’s budget proposal for 2011 calls for investing $6 billion over five years for probably two or more companies to develop spacecraft capable of carrying people into space. Then, instead of operating its own systems, like the space shuttles, NASA would buy rides for its astronauts on these commercial space taxis.

“This represents the entrance of the entrepreneurial mind-set into a field that is poised for rapid growth and new jobs,” Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr., the administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said in February. “And NASA will be driving competition, opening new markets and access to space and catalyzing the potential of American industry.”

Officials have been careful not to say their commercial crew plan relies on a market beyond NASA, but for now, Bigelow appears to be the only non-NASA buyer for commercial crew services.

“Nobody,” Mr. Bigelow said of competition he sees on the horizon.
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> LOTS more....
 
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Boris_Badenov

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From the article.

If the Boeing spacecraft is ready by 2014, that is when the dance of Bigelow space station modules will begin.

A habitat called Sundancer, with an inflated volume of about 6,400 cubic feet, would launch first. A separate rocket would then carry two Bigelow astronauts to take up residence in Sundancer as additional pieces — a second Sundancer, a larger habitat of about 11,700 cubic feet, and a central connecting node — are launched. The modules are to dock by themselves with the astronauts present to fix any glitches.
 
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docm

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Imagery from the slideshow - and get a load of the propulsion bus-node. Interesting stuff if you look closely.











Let's get a better look at that node-propulsion bus








 
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Valcan

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Boris_Badenov":3fodapx7 said:
From the article.

If the Boeing spacecraft is ready by 2014, that is when the dance of Bigelow space station modules will begin.

A habitat called Sundancer, with an inflated volume of about 6,400 cubic feet, would launch first. A separate rocket would then carry two Bigelow astronauts to take up residence in Sundancer as additional pieces — a second Sundancer, a larger habitat of about 11,700 cubic feet, and a central connecting node — are launched. The modules are to dock by themselves with the astronauts present to fix any glitches.
Wow can you imagine getting to do that? Lucky basterds. :)

I liked the last part.

Competition....no body.

Seriously i can see china, EU, maybe australia and many others investing in this.
 
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docm

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No. Hypergolic thrusters and orbital maneuvering engines. IIRC Aerojet is making them. VASIMR would be used for tugs and BLEO.
 
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Boris_Badenov

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Bigelow is back on the SpaceX LAUNCH MANIFEST with a 2014 launch. That lines up with statements made in the NYT article that a Sundancer will go up to be outfitted as the anchor for an orbital complex.
I wonder if this has been scheduled as a hope or if Mr. Big knows something we don't? :!:
 
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docm

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Bigelow joins the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, and Orion Lite has a real name....

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=31050

Bigelow Aerospace Joins the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

PRESS RELEASE
Date Released: Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Source: Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Aims to Address Commercial Crew Transportation Misperceptions

Washington, D.C., June 15, 2010 - The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that Bigelow Aerospace, LLC ("Bigelow Aerospace or "BA") has joined the Federation as an Executive Member, having received unanimous approval by the Commercial Spaceflight Federation's Board of Directors.

Mark Sirangelo, Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, commented, "On behalf of the member companies of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, we are proud to welcome Bigelow Aerospace as an Executive Member. Bigelow is a great fit with our other members, all of who are pursuing the common goal of a robust commercial human spaceflight sector. With the addition of Bigelow Aerospace to the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, all of the pieces of a self-sustaining commercial space economy are falling into place - launch providers, spaceports, suppliers, and on-orbit destinations. For those who suppose there is no market for commercial crew launches other than NASA, Bigelow Aerospace serves as one counterexample."

Robert T. Bigelow, Founder and President of Bigelow Aerospace said, "The future is being created now. Commercial crew transportation has the potential to revolutionize the space industry for public and private sector entities alike. The unprecedented success of the Falcon 9's inaugural launch clearly demonstrates that it's possible to dramatically reduce the cost of human spaceflight operations. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule were developed at a price substantially below that of traditional cost-plus programs - this should be a wakeup call that it's time for a new way of doing business. We are becoming a member of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation at this time to join with like-minded organizations, who want to see America be able to compete again in the global space launch marketplace, and push back against the pernicious misconceptions that are being perpetuated to harm the Administration's commercial crew initiative."

"Specifically, I'm appalled by the condemnation of commercial crew as being somehow less safe than government programs, and the refrain that commercial companies need to prove they can deliver cargo before they deliver crew. In regard to the latter, a leading contender for commercial missions, the Atlas V, has had 21 consecutive successful launches. This rocket is arguably the most reliable domestic launch system in existence today. It strains the bounds of credulity to claim that any new rocket would be able to trump the safety of a system that has an extensive record of flawless operations."

"Moreover," Bigelow added, "we're extremely pleased to be part of the Boeing team constructing the CST-100 capsule under the auspices of NASA's own Commercial Crew Development program. Boeing's unparalleled heritage and experience, combined with Bigelow Aerospace's entrepreneurial spirit and desire to keep costs low, represents the best of both established and new space companies. The product of this relationship, the CST-100 capsule, will represent the safest, most reliable, and most cost-effective spacecraft ever to fly. Again, I don't understand the critics who say 'commercial' entities can't safely build a capsule. Why is it that Boeing, the company that constructed the ISS itself, can't safely build a capsule that would go to their own space station? These are the sorts of questions and issues that we will be posing in Washington as a member of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation."

Bretton Alexander, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, added, "Bigelow Aerospace joining the Commercial Spaceflight Federation will help us to further our organization's goals -- to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. This is the start of an exciting new era for commercial spaceflight."
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Valcan

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docm":37ktnxpc said:
Bigelow joins the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, and Orion Lite has a real name....

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=31050

Bigelow Aerospace Joins the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

PRESS RELEASE
Date Released: Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Source: Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Aims to Address Commercial Crew Transportation Misperceptions

Washington, D.C., June 15, 2010 - The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that Bigelow Aerospace, LLC ("Bigelow Aerospace or "BA") has joined the Federation as an Executive Member, having received unanimous approval by the Commercial Spaceflight Federation's Board of Directors.
....................................Bretton Alexander, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, added, "Bigelow Aerospace joining the Commercial Spaceflight Federation will help us to further our organization's goals -- to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. This is the start of an exciting new era for commercial spaceflight."
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I wonder how large of a complex you could build of these hab moduals. Who knows by 2035 or 2040 you may see a tiny ISS being disassembled for part resources by a vaste array of bigelow hab moduals and orbital facilities.
 
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