Space Island Group

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jimfromnsf

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"What would you say are the biggest technical challenges they would have to overcome in order to build a rotating inhabitable space structure from expended shuttle External Tanks? "<br /><br />The orbital smelter that is going to recycle the ET's metal into the components of the "rotating inhabitable space structure"<br /><br />mods required to the ET<br /><br />1. Attitude control system<br />2. propulsion system<br />3 guidance system<br />4. mods to the foam to prevent it from deteiorating onorbit and "polluting" the nearby environment<br />5. Attach points on the ET so that items can be mounted to it. These will cause ascent heating and foam problems<br />6, hatches to the interior<br />7. mods to the internal components to removal<br />8 MMOD protection<br />9. power system<br /><br />All this before any components are added to make a habitable enviroment. There are more issues with this<br />
 
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quantump7

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Ok, so the actual problem here seems to be that they want to turn ETs into a rotatable space structure.<br /><br />Would starting from scratch be best and less expensive?
 
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j05h

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<i>> bingo</i><br /><br />ET-stations are a solution looking for a problem. The idea is compelling but is extremely hard to implement. It is vastly easier to start with something purpose-built for double duty. SIG represents an interesting effort, but they have approached the goal (beamed power and space cities) with only the metaphorical hammer.<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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solarspot

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Perhaps the most significant roadblock to developing an ET station, is that when fully furnished (interior has everything in it) it would way as much as Space Station Freedom would, as it would have essentially have all the same equipment. Only Role the ET would actually play in such a station would be as the pressure vessel. And an extremely expensive pressure vessel at that...<br /><br /><br />
 
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j05h

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The pressure vessel just isn't that challenging for space stations - it is all the stuff that keeps people alive inside that are important. The ET has issues even as a pressure vessel, it doesn't have a great cross-section for LEO, has no control authority and unknown long-term behavior. It's a tough, strong object but was never designed for spin-G loads - the best SIG could hope for without a total redesign is a "Geode"-type station that still has all sorts of looming issues. A cluster of Bigelow modules would be both cheaper and more comfortable.<br /><br />Another point against the ET is that they may be to massive for reasonable stationkeeping. An empty SLWT ET is 26.5t, and that's before any needed wet-tank mods. The HLVs pictured on their site are an interesting conceptual start, even with the needed investment the final "ET" rocket would look much different. The tank needs complete reengineering for the dual-task use.<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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qso1

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Well stated. I thought the idea for ET stations was great when I first heard it as far back as 1980. A year or so later, I looked at the pros and cons of ET station vs station modules carried up (Via shuttle or ELV) already checked out, ready to operate once on orbit. The extensive on orbit mods to get an ET station operational seemed to me to favor the ship n shoot modules. Bigelow adapted a compromise ship n shoot in a broad sense as in the module is sent to orbit but has to be outfitted once on orbit. If ETs had really been practical for stations, it should have been done by now, or well on the way to being done. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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publiusr

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A lot of good ideas take time. Ares V could loft dry stages about as big--and huge inflatables...
 
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Rickstar

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<p>Space island Group's(SIG)website says they will have space hotels flying by 2012,by using many of the rocket designs&nbsp;of&nbsp;NASA engineers.They will link together several external tanks,in LEO,& create solar sattelites that beam Megawatts worth of green electricity down to Earth,via microwaves.It all sounds way too good to be true!..Hence,my&nbsp;question...</p><p>IF Space island Group's timeline & goals are really on the path to becoming reality(IE;Hotel by 2012,etc)howcome NASA is winding down production of most of it's rocket & shuttle hardward component making contractors?Surely,IF SIG is for real,wouldn't NASA be proudly&nbsp;saying to the media by now that&nbsp;no job will be lost,in fact,production&nbsp;is being increased,thanks to SIG&nbsp;giving many of our rocket hardware contracting&nbsp;staff,new jobs to go into?</p><p>&nbsp;I hope&nbsp;just as much as&nbsp;anybody that SIG's dreams do,in fact,become reality,but I still can't help feeling very sceptical,at this stage.</p><p>Can anybody out there ease my sceptisism or prove to me,somehow,that SIG IS indeed working as closely with NASA as what they claim,on their (SIG)website?</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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thebigcat

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<p>Any chance their space hotels are vaguely pie-shaped?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Honestly, this ranks up there with the space elevator in the boondoggle department.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Swampcat

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<p><font color="#339966"><strong>Space Island Group</strong></font> has been producing nice graphics and promises for years, but, so far, nothing else. Their main idea, to use STS ET's to build a space station, is pretty much kaput with STS retiring. Their&nbsp;back-up plan would appear to require more capital than NASA has access to.</p><p>They have some really nice ideas, but ideas are a dime a dozen. When they start bending metal I'll pay some attention to them.</p><p>BTW, Rickstar, welcome to SDC's message board.</p> <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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Rickstar

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<p>Thanx muchly Cats.</p><p>I might hold off buying the SIG book,for a few years yet then.</p><p>Cheers & clear skies.<img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-laughing.gif" border="0" alt="Laughing" title="Laughing" /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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