Space Island Group

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mrmorris

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<font color="yellow">"How serious are SIG's proposals taken ..."</font><br /><br />You'll find that there is a basic ratio involving knowledge and credulity. The more knowledgeable someone is about spacecraft and space stations, the less credibility they'll give to SIG. For example, in their 'Shuttle-II' design, they say that it will make a powered landing. They make reference to the Buran and note: "The Russian Buran used 4 turbojets during 50 test flights with a 100% sucess rate". They fail to make note (and I have to wonder if they even <b>know</b>) that this was the 'Aero-Buran' which was never designed to be put into space. It was strictly made for aerodynamic flight testing and only flew 24 times, rather than the 50 indicated by SIG.<br /><br />Likewise most of heir site is based on wishful engineering and limited research.
 
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chriscdc

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Perhaps a converted ET could be placed on top of the in line stack SDHLV. Skylab style.<br />You could perform tests on it down here and you wouldn't have to make risky EVAs, to convert the tanks. <br />Would converting the tank on the ground be cheaper than building a whole new module?
 
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formulaterp

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<font color="yellow">Would converting the tank on the ground be cheaper than building a whole new module?</font><br /><br />Why would you convert and launch an ET which has never been used? You're limited by the design of the ET, which isn't necessarily the ideal configuration for an orbital station. The whole point of using an ET is that you save the construction and launch costs because someone else is paying for it. If you're going to launch a pre-fab station, you may as well do it right and start from scratch.
 
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chriscdc

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I would also want to go with a whole new module but sometimes finances just won't allow it. Skylab was afterall a converted fuel tank.<br />The problem is that you are not just dealing with engineering but accountancy and politics. You have to go with something that will achieve the job but will cost the minimum amount. Building a whole new module would require significant development costs and would require alot of new hardware to be built. Converting an ET will just require adding airlocks to the tanks, alot of pre-tested life support equipment, station keeping hardware and power supplies etc.
 
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spd405

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What has Katrina done or what will it do for peoples thoughts on SIG's plans for weather control?
 
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soccerguy789

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SIG is juts wishful thinking. It might have looked attractive early in the shuttle program, when they were planning 1 launch per week, at insanely low launch costs, and it might have even been helped the shuttle make do those things by increasing demand for shuttle flights, but the shuttle has 5 years left, and what they are talking about, in all reality, it's just not feasable, although I would have liked to see the fueal tanks uised in some way. maybe the new SDHLV will put its fuel tanks all the way into LEO, then maybe someone could use them if launch costs go down enough for some company to put assembly crews and equipment into orbit.
 
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spd405

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On the other hand, they do seem to be moving away from the shuttle orbitter and more towards a Delta Clipper style vehicle......
 
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j05h

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Their plan seems to revolve around getting Shuttle external tanks placed in orbit. That's a show-stopper. <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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spd405

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Getting the tanks into orbit would be simpler without the orbitter...
 
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j05h

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it would, but even the SDHLV designs all seem to plan on indian-ocean drops of the tanks. It's a huge waste. The best source of "free" volume is in the Earth Departure Stage, if it gets built. That should have hatches and airlock built in from the start - emergency hab space after burnout, trash storage, whatever. The EDS will be large enough to make a sizable wet-lab.<br /><br />Anyone that works at NASA, plz consider this. Make the EDS human-usable from the design phase onward. <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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strawshort

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Considering their plans to use "dozens" of shuttle orbiters and thin external tanks not meant for long-term space flight, not serious at all.<br />On the other hand, the Bigelow folks actually have hardware and are launching a smaller-scale prototype as early as next month!<br />
 
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nyarlathotep

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<font color="yellow">How serious are SIG's proposals taken and could they affect continued funding for NASA's station</font><br /><br />Not seriously, and the lack of non-MIR (and pre bigelow) alternatives is very likely what maintained the political momentum to keep the station fully funded until now. <br /><br />SIG pretty much leave the exercise of getting the dV to place the tanks into orbit with the tonnes of crud prefitted inside of them to make them durable enough for reuse as an exercise for the reader. Are they ALL just a bunch of graphic designers? One of them had to have been able to figure out the rocket equation by now. <br /><br />Any angel investor doing even half a minute of due dilligence (and believe me when I say that's all you'll need) on their plans would walk away giggling. It'd totally make their day.
 
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nyarlathotep

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<font color="yellow">The best source of "free" volume is in the Earth Departure Stage, if it gets built.</font><br /><br />Except it's in LLO.<br /><br />What they need to do is kill the shuttle program and ISS (canabalise the solar struts if possible), build the HLLV before 2010, and outfit a stretched EDS as a wetlab. Use the last four shuttle flights to rig the &%$#@! together with the struts. They're already in orbit so we know they wont be ripped off on launch like the last one. <br /><br />Hell, boost two with a dozen chimps onboard, tether them (tethers externally prefitted and ready to clamp) in one launch with a shuttle EVA, and spin up. You've got your jumbo ISS centrifuge to do bone density test on right there. Put three years of monkey chow onboard and once they're dead, send an EELV launched CEV to collect the remains. Refit, Rechimp and Respin. That's the only important biology we NEED to do in orbit right now. Bone density loss in partial gravity. <br /><br />Now we know bone loss, phone Zubrin and GO TO MARS.
 
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j05h

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I'm all for partial-G tests in LEO. The best route right now, IMHO, is the "BioMars" satellite. Haven't checked on it for a while, but some research was done into a mouse centrifuge. If mice aren't good enough, use rats or lemurs. I'm very skeptical of using Great Apes in research, it's to close to cannibalism for me. If you are talking about a 6-month freefall trip to Mars with direct entry, I don't think bone loss is that bad an issue. The crew would have to be very diligent exercising, probably take osteoporosis meds, etc, but I don't see that as a showstopper. Shannon Lucid walked off the Shuttle after 6 months on Mir. Proper habits outbound would deliver a healthy crew. Now, a system as we discussed recently with a large Phobos facility and surface access, would definitely require spin-G Habs and more extensive knowledge of freefall/lo-G. Even then, dedicated individuals might decide from the outset to live in freefall forever. <br /><br />You could use a theoretical EDS as a fuel depot in LLO, then use future units as habs, labs and more tankage. One EDS of ISRU propellant in LLO would be a valuable asset. Using near-term hardware (placing an order today), I'd build a LEO tankfarm and assembly shack out of several Bigelow BA330s, Alenia Nodes, Russian FGB and SpaceX Falcon/Dragon hardware. There is a surprising amount of hardware available if you have the cash. One interesting aspect: buying old museum/warehouse hardware for reverse engineering, such as the old Sov VA capsule.<br /><br />On the Space Island Group, my opinion is unchanged. Viewgraph engineers at best and wishful thinking. NASA has never shown an interest in orbitting ETs, never mind refitting them. If you want big, reusable upperstages (as wetlab, tanks, tugs), you probably need to start from scratch. Schemes like Interorbital's Neptune http://www.interorbital.com/Neptune%20Page_1.htm and the Saturn-Skylab system are good <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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nyarlathotep

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<font color="yellow">Shannon Lucid walked off the Shuttle after 6 months on Mir.</font><br /><br />edit: *She* walked off, yes, but could she walk for potentially a kilometre in a 50 kilogram, stiff EVA suit under 0.6g's of gravity? Possibly involving a climb? Would she have any endurance to do any actual science after such a walk and climb? Would she require a fortnight of gravity conditioning on the surface, and possibly medical aid that she could not provide himself after the 8+g deceleration through the thin mars atmosphere with a heavily atrophied body?<br /><br />Big questions. Not ones I'd spend several hundred billion on answering with a mars surface mission. And you won't get a mission at all if it's for telepresence from orbit. I mean, to me it makes sense, but the public wont support it politically.<br /><br />If we ever want to go to mars we need to answer the partial gravity bone question, preferably soon. There needs to be flags, there needs to be footprints, and there needs to be cameras. Can we stay two years on mars, one year in microgravity, and still survive a 10g+ earth reentry? Why isnt someone putting chimps, lemers and rats in orbital centrifuges to find this &%$#@! out?<br /><br /><font color="yellow">You could use a theoretical EDS as a fuel depot in LLO</font><br /><br />Yes, you could. NASA however would likely come to the genius idea to go minimal development (no kilowatts of power or active refrigeration, and hydrogen) and retrofit an actual EDS, with a cargo lander payload ontop of it to again shave costs. Now you've got a too small fuel depot with excessive boiloff issues that will prevent you from storing useful fuel for useful amounts of time, and will likely break down after a few months.
 
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Swampcat

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<font color="yellow">"He walked off..."</font><br /><br />Minor point here...Shannon Lucid is a "she." <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="3" color="#ff9900"><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong><em>------------------------------------------------------------------- </em></strong></font></p><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong><em>"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government."</em></strong></font></p><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong>Thomas Jefferson</strong></font></p></font> </div>
 
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nyarlathotep

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<font color="yellow">Minor point here...Shannon Lucid is a "she." </font><br /><br />Hard to tell in this post Shannon Knoll world. Public figures named shannon atleast in the southern latitudes are now gender ambiguous. Curse you americans, and jihad against your stupid idol show. A jihad also against the NSA's new social networking algorithm and auto-no-fly-list script.
 
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Swampcat

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<font color="yellow">"Curse you americans, and jihad against your stupid idol show."</font><br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><br /><br />I'll go along with that. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="3" color="#ff9900"><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong><em>------------------------------------------------------------------- </em></strong></font></p><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong><em>"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government."</em></strong></font></p><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong>Thomas Jefferson</strong></font></p></font> </div>
 
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j05h

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Sorry about the typo - of course Shannon Lucid is a "she". I thought I was SO COOL to actually type "Mir" instead of "ISS" that I missed the gender typo.<br /><br /><i>>Big questions. Not ones I'd spend several hundred billion on answering with a mars surface mission. And you won't get a mission at all if it's for telepresence from orbit. I mean, to me it makes sense, but the public wont support it politically. </i><br /><br />I'm not particularly talking about a multi-hundred-Billlion$$ mission. Per other discussions, I'm also not concerned with NASA getting to Mars, just Humanity. I agree that the partial-G question needs to be answered. That NASA has shown so little interest in partial-G experiments points to their actual concerns. For the nearterm, living in freefall and developing spin-G seem the obvious answers. <br /><br />I really liked the SpaceHab study for ESAS, and think that any hardware launched should somehow contribute to space infrastructure. Throwing equipment away is so 20th Century.<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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edawg

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up at the nasa sneate hearing their were many complaints that the ISS not having a animal experimeant module
 
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josh_simonson

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>Now we know bone loss, phone Zubrin and GO TO MARS.<br /><br />The bone loss thing is pretty well understood by this point. What isn't understood is how folks will survive in the radiation environment outside the earths magnetic field. Only putting humans and other organisms at someplace like L1 or cislunar space will let us know what needs to be done to mitigate that danger. Until that work is done we cannot go to mars without a prohibitive amount of shielding to cover the worst case scenarios.
 
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j05h

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<i>edawg: up at the nasa sneate hearing their were many complaints that the ISS not having a animal experimeant module </i><br /><br />Excellent to know that some of our Senators are on the technical ball. Dropping the centrifuge is a huge mistake, and it makes me happy to know that someone else cares about it. <br /><br /><i>JS: The bone loss thing is pretty well understood by this point. What isn't understood is how folks will survive in the radiation environment outside the earths magnetic field. Only putting humans and other organisms at someplace like L1 or cislunar space will let us know what needs to be done to mitigate that danger. Until that work is done we cannot go to mars without a prohibitive amount of shielding to cover the worst case scenarios.</i><br /><br />I think an adequate storm shelter will be buildable in the Bigelow modules. They are planning on basic foam+waterblankets for rad shielding. The solid core of their BA330 could easily be packed under a couple meters of tankage and water for a real storm shelter. Living "underwater" has longterm potential: your radiation shielding can feed and quench you, On larger structures (100s meter), a large bio-reserve of liquid water could be necessary. <br /><br />On Mars, we could easily live under the ice in Elysium or polar caps (just melt into it), or under sun-opposed cliff faces (dangerous). regolith/water/foam could all be used to shield modules. I'm not against further research but don't see these things (bones, rad) as showstoppers. There are workarounds available, even now.<br /><br />This is far offtopic, but have you ever heard of pykrete? It is a mixture of wood chips in ice. Invented in the 40s, it has similiar properties to concrete and molded plastics. Once we can grow crops anywhere in space, we can begin using this material as an engineered structure. Chipped plants and ice are easy to work with and function like other reinforced composites. Along with other simple tech (wire extrusion via recycle <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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josh_simonson

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Storm shelters are to protect the crew from radiation bursts from the sun that we know for sure would kill them quickly, but the sun always gives off some radiation, and cosmic rays are always there as well. Cosmic rays are so destructive that Neil Armstrong saw flashes of light when they hit his brain - that's not a good thing. No human has ever been exposed to that for long enough to judge the risk of a multi-year mission. You could surround the habitat with 18" walls of water and be reasonably safe, but the launch cost would be prohibitive - even with the aries v. <br /><br />With research into the subject we may find we only need 2 or 4 inches of water, or maybe some sort of electrostatic/electromagnetic shiled. We really don't know. But until then nobody will take a chance of the crew having IQs of 40 by the time they reach mars - so they'll have to use much more shielding than they probably need.
 
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webtaz99

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It is fairly certain that some sort of electro-magnetic shield will be used. I have read that is is possible to have a shield that also provides thrust (not much, but it's "free" as a side-effect). <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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