Bigelow Current Updates Thread....

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Yuri_Armstrong

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Won't these inflatable habitats be at an increased risk from micrometeorites though?
 
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pathfinder_01

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Yuri_Armstrong":dq0ucv7a said:
Won't these inflatable habitats be at an increased risk from micrometeorites though?
No they are better at micrometeoroid protection and radiation protection than metal. In fact NASA was thinking of upgrading the ISS by wrapping the material around the metal modules. NASA wanted to put one on the ISS for the us hab but that got cut. The Obama plan is going to add a module that is inflatable to the ISS. Let’s hope they get funding.

NASA originally created this technology for mars trips but more recently when CxP budget problems got out of hand the cut funding for this kind of R/D to focus money on trying to get Ares 1 to fly. Bigelow bought this technology from NASA.

The main fear with inflatable is that we don't have as much experience with them as with metal, but they are cheaper, lighter, better radiation and micrometeoroid protection than metal. Metal might have some edge I don't know about but they are very useful.
 
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SteveCNC

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Spacehawk":1ngxtbx6 said:
Anyone hear anything lately on Bigelow? I wanna keep this thread alive, I think Bigelow Aerospace is probably the best thing going so far.
Yeah I gotta agree although for me it's between SpaceX and Bigelow for the number one spot right now . In just over a month I'm going to Vegas and will be stopping by Bigelow's , even though they have informed me they don't give tours , but as a potential cnc programmer they may let me in since I will be applying there . I'm curious what they will pay and if it would be worth the move or not . I'll display my pics on this thread when I get back and let you all in on any info I can get . :D
 
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MeteorWayne

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Yuri_Armstrong":2kwqnhl0 said:
Won't these inflatable habitats be at an increased risk from micrometeorites though?
Actually, with their design, they are more resistant than most manned habitats.

The term "inflatable" is kind of a misconception. It creates the image of a balloon.

A better term is "expandable". The space is a rigid structure, packed so it expands and locks into place when in orbit.
It's not a balloon, more like a transformer :)
 
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Yuri_Armstrong

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MeteorWayne":1fc96uja said:
Yuri_Armstrong":1fc96uja said:
Won't these inflatable habitats be at an increased risk from micrometeorites though?
Actually, with their design, they are more resistant than most manned habitats.

The term "inflatable" is kind of a misconception. It creates the image of a balloon.

A better term is "expandable". The space is a rigid structure, packed so it expands and locks into place when in orbit.
It's not a balloon, more like a transformer :)
No they are better at micrometeoroid protection and radiation protection than metal. In fact NASA was thinking of upgrading the ISS by wrapping the material around the metal modules. NASA wanted to put one on the ISS for the us hab but that got cut. The Obama plan is going to add a module that is inflatable to the ISS. Let’s hope they get funding.

NASA originally created this technology for mars trips but more recently when CxP budget problems got out of hand the cut funding for this kind of R/D to focus money on trying to get Ares 1 to fly. Bigelow bought this technology from NASA.

The main fear with inflatable is that we don't have as much experience with them as with metal, but they are cheaper, lighter, better radiation and micrometeoroid protection than metal. Metal might have some edge I don't know about but they are very useful.
Good to see some creative and original technology being put to use. NASA should definitely give these types of modules a try.
 
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EarthlingX

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http://www.onorbit.com : Bigelow Aerospace Begins Testing Life Support Systems with Crew
Submitted by keithcowing

on Tue, 10/19/2010 - 07:51



Bigelow Aerospace LLC, Las Vegas, NV, has begun the process of human rating its Environmental Control and Life Support System. The contained volume humans in the loop testing is in preparation for the 2015 launch of Sundancer - an expandable module approximately 27ft long, 22ft in diameter, with an internal volume of 180m3 and supports a crew of three. When completed, the process will have demonstrated the life support system s ability to safely support a crew of three persons for extended durations. Company owner Robert T. Bigelow commented, These tests are an initial foundation that verifies safety and performance of our systems. This validation process gives our customers and ourselves confidence that we are heading in the right direction and our flight systems will be safe and reliable. The development of our modules is progressing and should align with the development of commercial crew transportation. The tests are being conducted at the facilities of Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) in Madison, WI.

This system has undergone rigorous long term testing using human metabolic simulators which has shown it to be fully capable of maintaining a living and working environment. Bigelow Aerospace has volunteered their very own astronaut and Program Manager, Bill Oefelein as well as their Chief Systems Engineer, Eric Haakonstad to be the first test subjects. We believe we have developed a great system and are willing to subject ourselves to prove it Eric stated.

Additional test crew members include Bigelow Aerospace and ORBITEC Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) engineers. The current testing is of shorter duration while the testing operations are refined. Future tests at ORBITEC and Bigelow Aerospace will be of substantially longer duration. At all times, heightened monitoring will ensure crew safety while metrics are collected on the performance of the systems. The specific systems integrated for the initial tests include thermal and humidity control, ventilation, carbon dioxide removal, trace contaminant removal, atmospheric monitoring, and vehicle thermal control. Additional systems will be added as they become available.

This testing currently being conducted provides initial data that assures the human safety of the ECLSS hardware before it is integrated into larger operational mockups at Bigelow Aerospace. Bigelow Aerospace will use these systems in full scale, closed volume mockups to work out and demonstrate basic operation, maintenance and repair of such systems and will use them as training aides with its customers in the future. Tom Crabb, President of ORBITEC, commented that We are quite pleased with the ability to blend adequate testing and safety with a direct value-concentrated approach that keeps costs low for both development and operations. Further life support loop closure will make future Bigelow Aerospace operations even more cost effective for more customers. Bigelow Aerospace and ORBITEC are very excited to begin this work as it is yet another step in making the first commercial space station a reality.
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Gravity_Ray

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I really like the fact that Bigelow is doing things the right way.

1. Stick with your niche market. They are not in the lunch business, but in the space station business.

2. Slow AND steady. Keep your testing lined up with the commercial launch systems.

Go Mr. Big.
 
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docm

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Wonder what the talking head shows will make of a private spacecraft docking at a private station & a chart comes up showing its relatively tiny cost and rapid startup vs. ISS? Especially given that much of the tech (TransHab, etc.) was created by NASA but went unused until the private guys picked up the ball.
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

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The Sundancer is showing on the SpaceX launch schedule as 2014/2015. Hopefully by then there will be a capability other than Soyuz to send a crew to it. At least that 2015 is what NASA claims the CCDev will be available by then and they will discontinue usage of Soyuz for US astronauts. We shall have to wait and see if NASA can be successful in not messing CCDev up.

Once Bigalow gets its Sundancer on orbit, you’re right the talking heads will have a field day with the government “waste” in the space program. But news agencies only really pay attention to real immediate controversies, not so much to possible ones.
 
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EarthlingX

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SDC : Bigelow Aerospace Soars with Private Space Station Deals
By Leonard David
SPACE.com's Space Insider Columnist
posted: 19 October 2010
09:32 pm ET



A private space company offering room on inflatable space habitats for research has found a robust international market, with eager clients signing up from space agencies, government departments and research groups.

Space entrepreneur Robert Bigelow, chief of Bigelow Aerospace, has been busy marketing his private space modules, an outreach effort leading to six deals being signed with clients this year.

The deals, in the form of memorandums of understanding, involve Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom.

"These are countries that do not want to be hostage to just what the International Space Station may or may not deliver," Bigelow told SPACE.com in an exclusive interview.

Bigelow founded Bigelow Aerospace in 1999, headquartered in Las Vegas, drawing upon his construction, real estate, and hotel savvy to forge the use of expandable space structures. To date, he has spent more than $200 million to hammer out his business plan for space.
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Gravity_Ray

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http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/private-space-station-first-clients-101019.html

A question that continues to float through the halls of NASA and the Congress: Is there a commercial market for utilizing space?

"We've got a very certain and loud answer to that. Not only is there a commercial market, but it's a one that's robust and global," said Michael Gold, director of Washington, D.C., operations and business growth for Bigelow Aerospace.
When will the stupid Congress learn? THANK GOD the government is getting out of the launch business. The best thing that could have happened to NASA DID happen. Ares I went bye bye.

While countries in Asia and Europe take commercial advantage of space, "my fear is that this could become yet another extremely lucrative economic opportunity that is engendered here ... and then shipped overseas," Gold cautioned. "The U.S. Congress should spend less time questioning the business case of the commercial market. They need to spend more time trying to figure out how to grow that market and ensure that it happens here in the United States."
Stupid selfish Congress.

Whenever depression about human space flight hits me, I just read something about Mr. Big, or Mr. Musk and I do actually feel better.

I am so very happy that Bigelow is working with Boeing’s CST-100. This will allow Boeing to start learning about a space business model other than “Cost Plus”. I think if all works out there will be plenty of business for CST-100 AND Dragon.
 
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stevekk

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oldAtlas_Eguy":10ogchvq said:
The Sundancer is showing on the SpaceX launch schedule as 2014/2015. Hopefully by then there will be a capability other than Soyuz to send a crew to it. At least that 2015 is what NASA claims the CCDev will be available by then and they will discontinue usage of Soyuz for US astronauts. We shall have to wait and see if NASA can be successful in not messing CCDev up.

Once Bigalow gets its Sundancer on orbit, you’re right the talking heads will have a field day with the government “waste” in the space program. But news agencies only really pay attention to real immediate controversies, not so much to possible ones.
Considering that the COTS program is several years late, I wouldn't blame NASA. They only provide funding. It's still up to SpaceX / Boeing / etc to deliver. All they can do is pull a contract when it's obvious a supplier has no chance in delivering. Right now, the best NASA can do is to push for human-rating the Altas V, since both Boeing and Dreamchaser depend on that EELV.
 
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SteveCNC

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Well here I am in Vegas , I applied at Bigelow yesterday . They have got more razor wire going around that place than anything I have ever seen and unfortunatley they wouldn't let me take any pictures . Looking at their web page the construction going on seems like just a regular heigth building but in person it looks to me to be about 6 stories tall . The only thing I don't particularly care for is the location is surrounded by some of the worst neighborhoods in Vegas , I've never seen so many homeless in one place before , truely sad . But we shall see what happens when they call me in the next week or so .
 
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docm

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Lots of bad times in Nevada - an even higher unemployment rate than Michigan.

Bigelow booth at the International Symposium for Private and Commercial Spaceflight -

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqsHK2vxyzo[/youtube]
 
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Gravity_Ray

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SteveCNC":e51wza0g said:
Well here I am in Vegas , I applied at Bigelow yesterday . They have got more razor wire going around that place than anything I have ever seen and unfortunatley they wouldn't let me take any pictures . Looking at their web page the construction going on seems like just a regular heigth building but in person it looks to me to be about 6 stories tall . The only thing I don't particularly care for is the location is surrounded by some of the worst neighborhoods in Vegas , I've never seen so many homeless in one place before , truely sad . But we shall see what happens when they call me in the next week or so .
Good Luck man.. Hope you get into the next step. Let us know what they are looking for when you can.
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

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SteveCNC":27n81uqj said:
Well here I am in Vegas , I applied at Bigelow yesterday . They have got more razor wire going around that place than anything I have ever seen and unfortunatley they wouldn't let me take any pictures . Looking at their web page the construction going on seems like just a regular heigth building but in person it looks to me to be about 6 stories tall . The only thing I don't particularly care for is the location is surrounded by some of the worst neighborhoods in Vegas , I've never seen so many homeless in one place before , truely sad . But we shall see what happens when they call me in the next week or so .
Unfortunately startups usually locate in cheaper real estate areas to reduce costs. Only once they are making gobs of money do they relocate to new areas or even create their own real estate environment like Microsoft did. They originally bought a large farm land cheap and developed it. The “High Rent” development grew up around it because of Microsoft.

A phenomenon that has happened time and again is one very successful company cause the encouragement of other similar industry companies and new startups to co-locate with the successful business. Microsoft created a tremendous number of other software companies to co- locate. The aircraft industry in LA area caused a tremendous co-location of part suppliers and other aerospace companies. So I wonder if Bigalow will transform this Las Vegas area that they are located in 20 years into a much larger aerospace corporation park.
 
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aaron38

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The video posted by Docm highlights exactly why I can't agree with the "we don't need super heavy lift" crowd. What is Bigelow planning for the future? Only a module, the BA2100, that would provide double the habitable volume of the entire ISS in one shot. That module can't be broken up into 20mT chunks and assembled in orbit. It has to be launched in one piece. Is launching 6 or 7 BA330s to get the same volume really cheaper?

Even assuming super heavy lift does cost a bit more, being able to launch double the ISS for a single launch costing less than a single shuttle flight is a no brainer. Launching 2 or 3 of these should be affordable.

And as for the yet to be built launch vehicle? The Bigelow rep said they'd need an 8m fairing and 100mT payload capability. There's no doubt SpaceX and Bigelow are working together. Launching that module is what the Falcon X Heavy is for, with a fairing that looks to be about 8m.

Here's a nice image of the cutaway BA2100 model
http://yfrog.com/bb8flj
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

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Launch costs for Bigalow’s station: 3 Falcon 9 launches at 3*$56,000,000 = $168,000,000 + 1 Atlas V 551 for the BA330 module at $110,000,000 = $278,000,000

So this BA2100 being twice the on orbit weight launch cost estimate would be twice the smaller station estimate for a total of $556,000,000. If the 100MT HLV is less than that per flight then it will be worth it. Space X’s Falcon X Heavy would definitely be less than that with 125MT capability possibly available in 2025 or sooner based on the commercial demand.
 
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Gravity_Ray

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aaron38":59f4zzj8 said:
The video posted by Docm highlights exactly why I can't agree with the "we don't need super heavy lift" crowd. What is Bigelow planning for the future? Only a module, the BA2100, that would provide double the habitable volume of the entire ISS in one shot. That module can't be broken up into 20mT chunks and assembled in orbit. It has to be launched in one piece. Is launching 6 or 7 BA330s to get the same volume really cheaper?

Even assuming super heavy lift does cost a bit more, being able to launch double the ISS for a single launch costing less than a single shuttle flight is a no brainer. Launching 2 or 3 of these should be affordable.

And as for the yet to be built launch vehicle? The Bigelow rep said they'd need an 8m fairing and 100mT payload capability. There's no doubt SpaceX and Bigelow are working together. Launching that module is what the Falcon X Heavy is for, with a fairing that looks to be about 8m.
Well I hate to sound just like the crowd, but I am still not convinced we need a super heavy lift. The last module is more of a “what the inflatable modules” can do, not what they should do. You really don’t need that much space up there right now. There is no business case for it. Bigelow is going to build a station (CSS Skywalker) with 2 Sundancers and 1 BA330 with a power bus/docking port module. That is already massive and can be built with current technology. It really is cheaper to launch 4 times (2 sundancers, one power bus/docking port module, and one BA330) than one of those big suckers. I can look it up for you, but believe me developing and building a 100 MT+ launcher is stupid expensive. Plus you will basically build it for just ONE module. God forbid if you lose that launch you just lost your ass and set human space flight back several decades.

Bigelow is currently working with Boeing and the CST-100/Atlas V and using SpaceX Dragon/Falcon heavy as their second option. A Sundancer weighs less than 9 metric tons, and BA330 23 metric tons. Both well inside the ability of the Falcon 9 Heavy and the Atlas V.

Nothing can launch 100 MT+ at the moment and seriously I don’t think we need to launch that much in one shot. Only the Ares V was designed to do something like that, and that was going to cost so much it didn’t make sense.
 
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aaron38

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Gravity_Ray":1lu2wo9o said:
I can look it up for you, but believe me developing and building a 100 MT+ launcher is stupid expensive. Plus you will basically build it for just ONE module.
Sure it's only for ONE module. Except of course for the VASIMR tug and every worthwhile payload to be sent to Earth and Mars, that can't be split up. Or if there's an asteroid headed our way. There's no destination beyond LEO?

Gravity_Ray":1lu2wo9o said:
God forbid if you lose that launch you just lost your ass and set human space flight back several decades.
Set back for DECADES from a launch failure? Sure, when politicians are calling the shots. If there's a market for it, the private sector will build another copy and launch again. If the R&D is done, what's a second copy by comparison?

This is where I get really pessimistic. The odds of of space exploration having a perfect launch record from here on out is ZERO. There will be failures, and if the entire industry is going to come to a screeching halt every time it happens, there's no point in any of this.
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

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I don’t really see an HLV of > 50MT being available before 2020, more likely 2025. NASA or commercial don’t show at this moment any schedule for an HLV earlier than that. In 15 years after Bigalow’s first station has been in orbit for 10 years, there will be a demand for even more space and capability in the next generation of space station. ISS has already been operating for 10 years, with Bigalow’s first station in 2015 ISS will be obsolete. By 2020 the US may purchase or lease a Bigalow station to replace ISS. With multiple nations wanting their own space on a station by 2020 there will probably be three Bigalow stations, growing to 5 or 6 by 2025. By then the oldest would start to be replaced by a much larger station, hence the need for four launches for each much larger replacement station of a 100MT HLV starting around 2025 for a total of 20 to 24 launches just to replace the smaller stations. 5 HLV launches a year should make the HLV launch costs about the same as 4 to 5 times a Falcon 9 launch today plus inflation costs, a $200 to $250 mil price.
 
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Gravity_Ray

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aaron38":3rnswjym said:
Sure it's only for ONE module. Except of course for the VASIMR tug and every worthwhile payload to be sent to Earth and Mars, that can't be split up. Or if there's an asteroid headed our way. There's no destination beyond LEO?
I am not saying that we dont ever need a HLV, just saying we dont need it right now. We can get going now, and not have to wait for an HLV to get developed, tested and launched. You can launch and build in orbit a very nice space ship with the launchers that are in the pipe line right now.

By the way, I am one of the biggest VASIMR fan boys out there. But the more I read about it, the more I see problems that need to be addressed before it can be used as a tug between Mars and Earth.

Here is my thread about it.

http://www.space.com/common/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=24548

Look at the videos on page two from nimbus.
 
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aaron38

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I agree, there's no reason to wait for HLV, there's still a lot of growing to do. But that day will come, and it's best to plan ahead. Do you see the FalconX being economical? Because if it's designed up front, 95% of the work of the heavy version is done with a 35mT launcher that would launch the BA330. I don't think it will be stupid expensive if it's done right.
 
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aaron38

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oldAtlas_Eguy":1hisy7wu said:
By then the oldest would start to be replaced by a much larger station, hence the need for four launches for each much larger replacement station of a 100MT HLV starting around 2025 for a total of 20 to 24 launches just to replace the smaller stations.
How long is a BA330 module expected to last? Could they be rehabbed? It seems like a waste of mass to keep replacing and ditching older stations. They're all modular, can't they be reconfigured and combined?

The way I can see it working is that, when it comes time to launch something like the BA2100 or a BA1300 that was also mentioned, the older smaller modules would add to it. A new docking module would let them attach as extra rooms. Maybe that's how a hotel gets it's start, by buying used modules? And a large complex would just grow over time.
Or would vibration issues require that a zero g research lab be physically separate from a hotel?


Actually, in this link of the BA tradeshow booth, the poster on the left shows a complex of one huge center module and 4 smaller modules. It makes a lot more sense if the 4 BA330 were already in orbit.
http://yfrog.com/f/ngg34ssj/
 
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Boris_Badenov

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Did anybody else look at those posters behind him on the display wall? One shows a station made up of 3 BA-2100 modules & 6 BA-330's. :shock:
Another shows a Mars Transfer Vehicle made up of 4 BA-330's & several Bigelow propulsion nodes. That one also says it'll carry a crew of 6. I wonder if they'll need a cook? :ugeek:
 
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