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POLL: Who Will Win the Private Space Station Race?

POLL: Who Will Win the Private Space Station Race?

  • U.S.A.: Bigelow Aerospace – This Las Vegas-based company has already launched two prototype space st

    Votes: 21 75.0%
  • Russia: Commercial Space Station – They may not have launched anything yet, but this effort by two R

    Votes: 3 10.7%
  • Mystery Contender – Private spaceflight is poised for a major leap forward. There may be unknown con

    Votes: 4 14.3%

  • Total voters
    28
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D

doublehelix

Guest
Until now, space stations have been national or international affairs, but now two different companies, one American and one Russian, are hoping to build the world's first private space station.

In the United States, the Las Vegas-based firm Bigelow Aerospace is steadily making progress with its inflatable space station modules. Meanwhile, two Russian companies have teamed up to build the Commercial Space Station project. Both projects are aiming for launches in 2015.

Who will win? Cast your vote to predict the winner of the new private space station race.

More Resources
In Race for Private Space Stations, It's U.S. Versus Russia
World's First Commercial Space Station Planned in Russia
Private Space Stations Edge Closer to Reality
Gallery: Building the International Space Station
Top 10 Fantasy Spaceships Turning Into Reality
 
P

pathfinder_01

Guest
Depends on how one defines win.

In theory the russian station could be ready before bigloew and seems to be based on a future ISS module and will be put up in one launch.

Bigleow's station requires several launches and several assembly flight before it would be complete.
 
L

LostTraveler

Guest
Well since Russia is the only country in the poll that can still get large cargo much less passengers into space (I'm using the standard that customers actually have to use the facility), I think this one answers itself.
 
K

Kansan52

Guest
Having watched Bigelow for many years, I give them the edge. They and Boeing have a capsule in the works, the prototypes in orbit are still working, the have the shill set to take the next step, and waiting customers.

All that said, it's all about the money. Bigelow's got and I'd but the Russians don't. Unless the Russia's get to spend the bucks the extort fur us to go to the ISS. What's it up to now $45 mill a seat from the $20 mill at the beginning?
 
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Gravity_Ray

Guest
I am not sure if the Russians are even serious about a commercial space station. This may very well be some crazy internal scheme they have. You should look up all the things that Russia stated they were going to launch to the ISS. The list was long and went nowhere.

However, after saying that I still voted Russia first because if they actually are serious about this, then they can launch this space station in one shot and they win.
 
D

Delphinus100

Guest
gravity ray, wouldn't commercial success be the factor that determines who 'wins?' We already know that the Proton launcher can lift significant space station mass in one shot. It's been doing that since Salyut-1.

Remember, the Soviets got the supersonic Tu-144 into the air several months ahead of Concorde, but it was withdrawn from service years before Concorde was, too...

Bigelow already has a number of interested foreign customers. Can Russia say the same?
 
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Gravity_Ray

Guest
Well as I said, I am not even sure this whole commercial space station is even real. The Russians say a lot of things and not everything they say comes true.

However, the CSS is one basic module, so if the Russians are serious they can pop it up there in one launch. Bigelow will need launchers to accomplish his station and although I believe Bigelow is more serious, they are also more dependent on launchers which they don’t have right now. CSS is backed by the Russian space agencies.

Believe me I am the biggest Bigelow fan-boy out there and have been behind commercial US launchers for as long as SpaceX has been around. I was just saying that if its some kind of race (which it isnt right now) Russia would win. But the proof as they say is in the pudding. So we shall see.
 
L

larrison1964

Guest
I WILL!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Using the superpower of my slightly above average sized brain I will create a vehicle that can lift a fourty ton object ...wait we already have those. Well I'll create a super rocket to boost that plane and its payload to a twenty mile altitude then seperate ....wait that can be done too. .......Well I'll build a rocket plane using composits and advanced engines weighing fourty tons to go from a twenty mile altitude to orbit saving 20% of it's fuel for a deorbit burn that will slow it down enough to make heavy heat shields pointless!!!!!! Once low enough in the atmosphere airbreathing engines will take it to any airport in the WORLD!!! HAHAHAHA!!!! .....wait this is possible now.
.....anyway this was about the space station wasn't it. Um I have heard the shuttle could take its tank into orbit and people designed stations using them. I saw a few ideas (maybe on space.com) well don't use a tank as a permanent space station. Instead use a spacestation as a temporary tank.
Thank you, thank you very much.
P.S. give me fifteem million and I'll be there in five years.
 
R

Ruri

Guest
Bigelow by a considerable margin.
They have a far more advanced module design and have flown two prototypes.

I'd consider the Russians serious if they were planning on flying something capable and in production such as the DOS and TKS module.

CSS is more like an extended duration module similar to the old Apollo X concept vs a full space station.
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/apollox.htm
The attached Soyuz and Progress provide many of the needed functions including an airlock.

There are spacecraft with more volume then CSS such as the ATV and shuttle.
 
B

bdewoody

Guest
I picked the Russians because even though their entrant is being built by private enterprizes I'm pretty sure they have big government backing.
 
W

WannabeRocketScientist

Guest
Bigelow is my pick. The Russians are entering this race late, and by far their design seems less elegant or imaginative... one can see Bigelow space stations as the future, not a little pod compatible with Soyuz and Progress. Sure, it is probably cheaper and they can make it faster, but is it at the cost of being more than a "Oh hey, we did it before anyone else" than "We are going to get meaningful scientific and engineering data while possibly jump-starting commercial space travel" like what you will find with Bigelow?

The fact remains that Bigelow already has something in orbit. As far as I know, CSS does not.
 
M

mariner5

Guest
Actually, I'm hoping in the long run to see a consortium of companies from different countries become our main commercial thrust into space. Competition in space would be an obvious help in getting more people and cargo up into space meanwhile forcing the price of doing so down to earth. Also, the more minds involved in doing so, the faster and more effective the solutions to such a challenge will come. All that said, government-subsidized outfits such as Bigelow will have a substantial head start, whomever the final winners will be.
 
S

Swampcat

Guest
mariner5":3e0s32ng said:
Actually, I'm hoping in the long run to see a consortium of companies from different countries become our main commercial thrust into space. Competition in space would be an obvious help in getting more people and cargo up into space meanwhile forcing the price of doing so down to earth. Also, the more minds involved in doing so, the faster and more effective the solutions to such a challenge will come. All that said, government-subsidized outfits such as Bigelow will have a substantial head start, whomever the final winners will be.
It's a very long stretch to claim Bigelow Aerospace is government-subsidized. AIUI, the only money BA has received from the government is in connection with Boeing and the CCDev awards. Taking over technology abandoned by NASA hardly counts as a subsidy.
 
M

mynamewastaken

Guest
I think this poll needs another option. D: Everyone.

In this kind of "race" all contenders win. As one company has a success it will only expand the market for commercial space, thus helping the other companies. I personally don't care who is first as long as it happens.
 
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Skyskimmer

Guest
jackiecox333":2is5e46m said:
<lengthy woo quote removed
:? :( ;) :lol: :) :lol: :) :D

He's messing with wiki? lol he got a lot of public support among nerds like me, he don't need to get his hands dirty.
As far as his personal life? Are you serious? :lol:

Yes he did keep his personal finances private( as your suppose too) he was heavily invested in two mulitbillion projects) so it's no surprise he ran out of money. However spacex is a success, you can argue about it flaws etc, but the fact of the matter is it's offering something that the space travel is dependant on. Cheaper costs, if space dosn't get dramtically cheaper over the next decade there will be a huge cut in the number of missions going to orbit.
 
O

oldAtlas_Eguy

Guest
The definition of winning as applied to private enterprise is that the venture has to make money. Space X is seeing some revenue come in but is still spending more than income. But because the way business does accounting, by measuring the costs of a hardware or service to its sales value, Space X is making money. They are just spending a great deal on development of a new and bigger revenue stream called Falcon 9 and Dragon. Bigelow Aerospace business model is correctly assigning costs and revenue, and is considered a true private business and its space station Alpha venture is also considered a true private business venture. Can that be said of the Russian venture? Is the Russian venture a “keep it in-house” project so Russia doesn’t have to buy space on a Bigelow station?

In any case competition can push the schedules, making more get done in less time. Bigelow’s Sundancer module slated to fly on a Falcon 9 in 2014 can handle up to three persons. That’s the entire crew of a Soyuz. Even though the Proton can lift 20MT to LEO don’t expect Space X, if its Falcon 9 is as successful as it looks like it will be, to sit still. By 2015 five years from now would probably see the Falcon 9 Heavy a 32MT to LEO launcher and a direct competitor to the Proton and Delta IV Heavy, allowing Bigelow to launch his larger BA330 module that can house 6 people. By the way the Falcon 9 started development in earnest in 2005 five years ago. All that remains is that one of the three current forefront CCDev contenders be successful.
 
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Skyskimmer

Guest
It makes no sense for private to venture into healthy lift for a while. The most important part of getting costs down is getting the volume of unit expanded. It's cheaper to make 100 smalls than one big.

Part of the reason spacex is undercutting itself is too increase the volume being flown to orbit. The more launches they have a year the more easier it is to payoff the cost of RND.
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

Guest
Skyskimmer":g25ypt05 said:
It makes no sense for private to venture into healthy lift for a while. The most important part of getting costs down is getting the volume of unit expanded. It's cheaper to make 100 smalls than one big.

Part of the reason spacex is undercutting itself is too increase the volume being flown to orbit. The more launches they have a year the more easier it is to payoff the cost of RND.
There are two components to the price of a launch the vehicle and the vehicle pad processing. It costs nearly the same for a small LV as that of a large LV for pad processing and launch. The primary cost difference then in a small and large LV is the hardware not it’s processing, this is why as the vehicles get bigger the price per kg become less. The Falcon 1 is about $8500 per kg and the Falcon 9 is at $5800 per kg with 9 times the total capability. Your statement of use smaller rockets instead of bigger ones because it would be cheaper doesn’t hold up. You are correct that economies of scale do make some items on a smaller rocket be cheaper from their standpoint of the part’s share of the launch cost rate but avionics is not one of them. The same avionics is required no matter what the size. Engines do have a scaling factor exactly equal to payload capability but in the case of Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 where the engine is the same, for a given payload amount there is no different effect because of economies of scale since the same total number of engines are required regardless of which vehicle you use.
 
Z

Zi

Guest
I have been watching 'inflatables' and the concept for thirty years. I have been watching Bigelow since before he bought anything from NASA. In that time I have watched politics, the Russians & others, and space efforts in general. The truth is that it almost always comes down to determination, incentive, and economics as to who 'wins' anything regarding space. Nobody but Bigelow has all three. Nobody is as well off in regard to any of the three as Bigelow is, especially if you consider his 'allies' in this quest. Nobody has the multiple options for progress in the process as he does. Nobody else has already done prototypes and launches, much less shown commercial viability and a customer base, over the last decade. Nobody has a factory for multiple unit production lines under construction besides Bigelow. Those are only the highlights of his many advantages and his list of 'disadvangtages' is woefully short. The truth is that even if some hastily constructed 'can' were lofted before a Bigelow station was complete it would not be a remotely attractive commercial option by comparison and that would be very quickly known.

In short... the idea that anyone is going to beat Bigelow as a commercial success much less in a safe and timely alternative is ludicrous. Define winner any way you like... Bigelow has already won.
 
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