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Bigelow Aerospace updates: thread 2

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#16 IsItPluggedIn



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Posted 29 December 2013 - 22:42

Sounds like they are progressing well. I cant wait until they start putting these things up.


I do like this bit Bigelow Aerospace seeks mature, well adjusted adult individuals i wish I think im going to put this on all of my job requirements. 

#17 OP DocM


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Posted 30 December 2013 - 00:20

There are 2 subscale Bigelow testbeds, Genesis 1 & 2, that have been in ~350 mile by ~64° orbits since 2006/2007 respectively, and the materials are holding up fine -


A larger testbed named BEAM flies on the SpaceX Dragon CRS-8 ISS resupply mission in dragpns cargo trunk. After berthing the ISS a will remove BEAM, mount it to a berthing port and then it'll be inflated for extensive on-orbit tests.

If BEAM passes the ISS tests then its ready for further tests & uses. Bigelow has said they want to orbit a full sized (330 cu/m) BA-330 habitat as soon as commercial crew spacecraft are ready to service it. The factory, test facilities and mission control center have already been built outside of Las Vegas.

#18 IsItPluggedIn



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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:27

Hey Doc,


How will the BA modules boost to stay in orbit? Will they be vertical so the arriving capsules can boost or do they have their own boost system? 

#19 OP DocM


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Posted 15 May 2014 - 05:15

Bigelow has several different types and sizes of propulsion modules. One is a tug with 2 robotic arms at one end for maneuvering modules & spacrcraft bits. Another has docking nodes for several modules, and another has an airlock for doing EVA's. Still another has landing legs and an airlock for settling modules down on the Moon or minor planets.




#20 OP DocM


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Posted 09 July 2014 - 22:29

Here we go.....


Bigelow Aerospace Begins Hiring Round by Adding Former Astronauts Ham, Zamka

WASHINGTON — Bigelow Aerospace has hired former NASA astronauts Kenneth Ham and George Zamka to form the cornerstone of the private astronaut corps the North Las Vegas, Nevada, company will need to maintain and operate the inflatable space habitats it plans to launch some time after 2017.

Zamka comes to Bigelow Aerospace from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, where he was deputy associate administrator from March 2013, when he left NASA, through June 11. Zamka will remain in Washington to aid the company’s business development efforts with the U.S. and other governments, and serve as a company face for federal policymakers, Robert Bigelow, founder of Bigelow Aerospace, said in a July 9 phone interview.

Ham, currently chairman of the Aerospace Engineering Department at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is set to join Bigelow at the company’s North Las Vegas headquarters. A Navy captain, Ham will begin developing a training program for the astronauts Bigelow hopes to recruit, and start work on operational protocols for Bigelow Aerospace’s orbital habitats.

Reached via email July 9, Ham confirmed that he will begin working for Bigelow Aerospace in early September.

Bigelow said the smallest space station his company plans to fly will require two BA330 modules, each of which has 330 cubic meters of internal space. The company expects to finish building the first two BA330s by 2017, Bigelow said.

Ham and Zamka are former military aviators who have piloted and commanded space shuttle missions. Their NASA and military credentials are part of the appeal for Bigelow, who plans to put both former space fliers to work as recruiters.

“I would like to see us have half a dozen astronauts onboard by the end of the year,” Bigelow said.

Each Bigelow Aerospace space station would require about a dozen astronauts, including orbital, ground and backup personnel. The 660-cubic-foot stations would host four paying clients, who would be assisted by three company astronauts responsible for day-to-day maintenance, Bigelow said.

Initially, clients and crews would cycle in and out of the stations in 90-day shifts, Bigelow said. Eventually, the company hopes to shorten that cycle to 60 days.

“Our clients don’t need six months on orbit,” Bigelow said, referring to the time astronauts typically remain aboard the international space station. “It’s an imposition on them. They can get just as much out of three months.”

Zamka and Ham are part of a broader hiring push by Bigelow Aerospace. There are about 135 people in the North Las Vegas factory now, and “we’re hoping to be by Christmas time somewhere in the vicinity of 175,” Bigelow said. In addition, he said, “we will expand, substantially, our Washington representation,” which is led by attorney Mike Gold, an export control specialist who helped arrange the launch of Bigelow’s Genesis test habitats aboard Russian Dnepr rockets in 2006 and 2007.

Bigelow Aerospace has yet to book a launch for the BA330 modules it is building. The company’s business case hinges on the availability of domestic, commercially available launch and crew vehicles. Bigelow plans to buy these on margin from the winner of NASA’s commercial crew program, under which the agency is nurturing development of vehicles to ferry crews to and from the space station.

Boeing Space Exploration of Houston, Sierra Nevada Space Systems of Louisville, Colorado, and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Hawthorne, California, are developing vehicles under the current round of the program. NASA expects to select two concepts for full-scale development, including an initial paid crew flight, around the end of September.

Bigelow is a junior partner on Boeing’s commercial crew entrant, the CST-100 space capsule.




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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:00

A few comments/questions


the 2017 time frame is for launching astronauts not the modules right?

Since they have already booked a flight with SpaceX that is at their launch manifest for 2015


Bigelow Aerospace has yet to book a launch for the BA330 modules it is building.


Does this mean that the flight they have booked is for the hub?

#22 Beittil



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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:16

The 2017 timeframe is for both the modules and possible astronauts to visit them, BA has been holding off on hiring people (and manufacturing the modules) because there was no transportation (from US soil) available for taking astronauts to its modules, in 2017 there will be!


The 'booked flight' with SpaceX is an agreement between BA and NASA, where the latter just put their (BA's) BEAM module on the cargo manifest for a CRS flight  to the ISS by SpaceX in 2015!

#23 OP DocM


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Posted 10 July 2014 - 14:28

Correct on BEAM going to ISS in Dragon next year on CRS-8's cargo trunk. In its collapsed form BEAM is just 1.737m long by 2.362 meters wide.

The commercial crew spacecraft are what Bigelow has been waiting for, and he has agreements with SpaceX and Boeing for Dragon V2 and CST-100 respectively.

His full size module launches are VERY likely going to be on Falcon Heavy, both for cost and because it can lift their 25+ tonne mass. The only other options would be SLS ($$$$) and Delta IV Heavy ($$).

The other needed piece is a larger cargo fairing for Falcon Heavy. Its standard 5.2x13.1 meter fairing is too short, so a 5.2x19 meter is planned for....2017.

Falcon Heavy #1 is being built right now for a maiden flight in early 2015.

#24 OP DocM


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Posted 26 July 2014 - 21:35

2014 Bigelow Aerospace promotional video, targeting nations who want a space presence but not the expense of a large national program. Also seems to target those who want to be owner-operators of purchased commercial stations.

The largest habitat in their roster is BA-2100, which is >6x the volume of the BA-330 shown.

For the record: NASA has strongly hinted that after ISS they plan to use commercial stations.

#25 OP DocM


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Posted 30 October 2014 - 20:50

Anyone want a job in Las Vegas?
Bigelow has 100 openings


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If you are an energetic, self-starter interested in joining a growing company please apply.
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#26 Beittil



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Posted 30 October 2014 - 22:57

Sweet, looks like he is going to ramp up again now that CCtCap has been announced! Fun times...