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DocM

Bigelow Aerospace updates (BA-330 launch video)

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I'm not aware of any merchandise, they seem focussed on flying, and BA is a privately held company so there's no stock.

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yeah it was half said in jest...however it would be nice to lend a helping hand in some way!

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http://www.bigelowaerospace.com/index.php

Bigelow Aerospace Expediting BA 330 Development

Due to customer demand and progress in commercial crew transportation, Bigelow Aerospace has moved directly to BA 330 development. As the name indicates, the BA 330 will provide roughly 330 cubic meters of usable volume and can support a crew of up to six. The BA 330 can function as an independent space station, or several BA 330s can be combined to support an even larger orbital complex. "It's extremely exciting to proceed with the actual construction of BA 330s," said Robert T. Bigelow, President and founder of Bigelow Aerospace, "This robust habitat will serve as the backbone for a new, dynamic era of commercial human spaceflight. The BA 330 will support a wide variety of utilization and exploration missions both in Low Earth Orbit and beyond. "

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Also: the 180 cu/m Sundancer has disappeared from their evolution - so they're going straight to the BA-330. This might mean there's now an open line for something bigger :)

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the bigger the better...but where is this cutomer demand coming from? does he mean NASA or other space agencies?

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NASA and 7 other countries are already signed up, and what ever private outfits have signed up haven't chosen to announce yet.

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that's good, glad to hear they have the support and clientele they need.

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awesome video man, these guys are really talented and the models are incredible. wish i could buy a few to put on my desk. they also helped me realize just how big these habs are, that's really more like it! finally some big stuff in space. it was good to know they were the guys that did the ships in Independence Day, didn't know that!

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Video of a BA-330 launch, and its deployment & docking with a Boeing CST-100 spacecraft. After separating from the 2nd stage it deploys its solar arrays, then the body of the habitat is inflated (unshown) and becomes rigid. The walls are 16 inches thick, providing better radiation and debris protection than a metal structure like on the ISS. Additional shielding can be added internally if required.

Music and audio of the rocket engine added by yours truly (it was silent so....)

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heh heh Doc awesome choice of music and sound FX! BTW when can we expect to have this baby actually in orbit?

and you forgot to call the ISS a NASA tin can...

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Music was from another project and the audio of the rocket was a Falcon 9 launch. Didn't need to call ISS a tin can - that's self evident by now ;)

Bigelow opens that big factory later this year, and outfitting & module/hub/propulsion bus construction starts soon after. After that's done they've said the station construction starts when the commercial spacecraft are available to transport crews; probably 2014-2016.

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can't wait, it'll be good to have their station designs transition into replacing the ISS over the next few years, and working together with the Dragon and Dream Chaser towards creating THE VALKYRIE SHUTTLE! bet you thought i'd fogotten about her!

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A reply from Bigelow about their progress. Destructive testing of a BA-330 restraint layer (holds it together) soon after completion later this year - add pressure until failure to see what it can take.

Thanks for your interest in Bigelow Aerospace (BA). You asked about a very broad range of topics that would take many pages to respond to all, but maybe I'll just start with our near term plans. BA is a very hardware oriented company that puts a lot of value in testing as opposed to analysis, so most of the objectives you see below are hardware/test centered.

With a few months left in 2011, we are currently working on several important projects to dramatically increase the maturity of the BA330 design. The first and biggest is beginning the qualification of the BA 330 restraint layer (the strength behind the Bigelow Expandable Pressure Vessels.) Bigelow Aerospace has designed and developed restraint layers for several sizes of Expandable Vehicles including Genesis, Galaxy, and Sundancer, but BA 330 will be the biggest so far. The designs are completed and we are in the process of fabricating the first of the BA 330 size restraint layers now. Our plans have it completed and ready for destructive testing by the end of the year. This will be a big and exciting milestone for us as the largest expandable structure we have designed and fabricated to date (we have built several Sundancer size restraint layers and currently have one in leak test that was started about 3 years ago at 12 psi.) The plan is to pressurize this unit to failure late this year, or early next, to learn about this specific design?s structural margins and evaluate our fabrication methods. Bigelow Aerospace has always had an in internal design philosophy to maintain very large structural margins giving us industry leading factors of safety.

Bigelow is also heavily engaged in working with our full scale BA 330 ECLSS (Environmental Control and Life Support System) chamber. This involves long and short term testing in a sealed volume with either human or human simulators in the loop to produce the ECLSS load. We have performed several tests to date where we have had multiple people occupy the sealed chamber from several hours to days at time to test these systems. Long duration and characterization testing will continue into the new year using this facility.

The last major area we are currently concentrating on is our Avionics ?Flat Sat.? We are constructing what will eventually become a very high fidelity, even up to flight quality, set of hardware that will function everything electronic on the spacecraft (ie: GNC, ECLSS, Power Generation, Communication, etc) but laid out on benches. This makes these complex systems easier to work on and evaluate before integration into a flight structure. We are currently in the first phases of this plan with a basic network of flight representative computers and communication equipment installed and operating. We plan to continually upgrade the fidelity of the hardware and software and test continuously until we have all full flight quality systems for the spacecraft installed and fully tested on the bench. This ?build a little, test a little? philosophy is a standard practice at Bigelow Aerospace.

There are also several outside projects we are working on, including contract work for Boeing on CCDev2, but I can?t get into too much of that because of the proprietary nature of some of these relationships.

Thanks for the interest and hope this sparks some discussion.

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heh heh good to see they're replying to your emails in person Doc, you must be a heavyweight in the industry for that to happen. anyway, it's good that they're active, been a while since we had any news from them, no? half of their response goes over my head as i just hum "Valkyrie shuttle", but still, it's good to read this!

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From an interview mostly about the Boeing CST-100 with John Mulholland, vice president and program manager for Boeing Commercial Programs -

"[Robert Bigelow] has been a great partner and provided us a lot of value," Mulholland said. "They are about to sign a contract with the International Space Station to put an inflatable module up there. Getting that NASA seal of approval will really help stimulate the market."

This is likely, but not certain, to be the BEAM - Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, a hab used for logistics and as a testbed before their tech is used for other much more interesting projects.

That said, a Sundancer can't be ruled out as it wouldn't need another spacecraft (the Soyuz lifeboat or a crew exchange vehicle) acting as a tug to put it in place for berthing. Time will tell.

Sounds like the "balloon" is literally getting ready to go up.

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the sooner the better, those pics you posted of their big modules in outer space really had me going. why is it that everything space is always tentative and coming soon? why can't it be next month? and this doesn't even sound like a very expensive project.

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You know NASA - it has to deal with Congressional meddling, tight funding etc. That and Bigelow is waiting for Commercial Crew to go active so he can get people up & down for less than Switzerland's national budget.

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hopefully this won't be too long of a wait!

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Wait may be coming to an end....

http://www.spacenews.com/article/new-nasa-bigelow-deal-puts-inflatable-space-station-module-one-step-closer-to-orbit#.UOs_Ub-9LTo

New NASA, Bigelow Deal Puts Inflatable Space Station Module One Step Closer to Orbit

NASA and Bigelow Aerospace have reached an agreement that could pave the way for attaching a Bigelow-built inflatable space habitat to the international space station.

>

The rest is behind a paywall - more as it emerges....

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Most likely BEAM - thd Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, designed to give the Bigelow system flight time so as to prove itself for use on other missions. BEAM would most likely be attached at ISS Node 3.

Infatable_Module_and_Node_4.jpg

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Link....

Bigelow Aerospace and NASA sign contract

There have been rumors about this for awhile. NASA and Bigelow Aerospace have signed a $17.8 million contract. The details will be released later but apparently it deals with preliminary work on the proposed BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) system for the ISS.

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There will be a formal announcement of the NASA-Bigelow Aerospace deal tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Bigelow Aerospace HQ in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Correction: announcement is Wednesday Jan 16th.

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Contractor BIGELOW AEROSPACE, LLC

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Contract Number NNH13CH31C

NASA Center HQ - Headquarters Acquisition Division

Place of Performance North Las Vegas, NV (District 01)

Award Date 12/20/2012

Completion Date 12/19/2017

Contractor Type Small Business

Award Type Firm Fixed Price

Current FY Obligations $6,350,000

Total Obligations $6,350,000

Total Award Value $17,865,903

NAICS Code 541712

Description of Work UNDER THIS CONTRACT, THE CONTRACTOR SHALL CONTRACTOR TO PROVIDE AND OPERATE THE BIGELOW EXPANDABLE ACTIVITY MODULE (BEAM) ON-BOARD THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS). THIS EFFORT IS FOR PHASE 2 OF THE BEAM ISS DEMONSTRATION MODULE PROJECT, AND ESTABLISHES THE REQUIREMENTS, PERFORMANCE METRICS, COSTS, AND MANAGEMENT OF THE EFFORT THAT WILL BE USED TO DESIGN, DELIVER, AND OPERATE THE BEAM.

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