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Bigelow Aerospace updates: thread 2

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Unobscured Vision    2,667
1 minute ago, jjkusaf said:

Thanks. Didn't even think about that. 

Nothing to it, bud. :) It's an ugly spud without it, though, I agree. I have to say, though, it's interesting looking at those impact folds. They're designed to absorb MMOD impacts -- not deflect them. They're made for Tanking, for those versed in Gaming vernacular. And they stow away for compactness. Incredible design went behind them. :yes: 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

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DocM    16,537

Bigelow Aerospace ‏@BigelowSpace 2m2 minutes ago
.@Astro_Jeff successfully entered the BEAM, the first human-rated expandable structure in space.

 

Williams-BEAM.jpgCkRbf7_VEAAlYuX.jpg-large.jpeg

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Jim K    13,455

 

 

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DocM    16,537

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

High-Res Photos of Expanded BEAM Module & Historic Ingress

 

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The first high-resolution photos of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module in its fully-expanded configuration were released on Tuesday, showing a view of the module partially obstructed by Russian solar arrays. Residing on the aft port of the Node 3 module, BEAM is hard to photograph from the Station’s windows, though its two-year stay at the Station will provide numerous photo opportunities for spacewalking crew members.

http://spaceflight101.com/high-res-photos-of-expanded-beam-module-historic-ingress/

 

27454633561_a8c0fc66d6_o-1024x682.jpg

NASA/ESA/Bigelow Aerospace

 

 

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NASA/ESA/Bigelow Aerospace

 

 

CkXFpxbUoAAuyOF.jpg-orig-1024x682.jpg

NASA/ESA/Bigelow Aerospace

 

 

CkXFp9kUUAADHsG.jpg-orig-1024x682.jpg

NASA/ESA/Bigelow Aerospace

 

 

CkVzpvxWsAADbTH.jpg-orig-1024x682.jpg

NASA/ESA/Bigelow Aerospace

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

NASA Selects Six Companies to Develop Prototypes, Concepts for Deep Space Habitats

 

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has selected six U.S. companies to help advance the Journey to Mars by developing ground prototypes and concepts for deep space habitats.

 

Through the public-private partnerships enabled by the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2) Broad Agency Announcement, Appendix A, NASA and industry partners will expand commercial development of space in low-Earth orbit while also improving deep space exploration capabilities to support more extensive human spaceflight missions.

 

The selected companies are:

Bigelow Aerospace of Las Vegas
Boeing of Pasadena, Texas
Lockheed Martin of Denver
Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia
Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems of Louisville, Colorado
NanoRacks of Webster, Texas


Habitation systems provide a safe place for humans to live as we move beyond Earth on our Journey to Mars. 

 

"NASA is on an ambitious expansion of human spaceflight, including the Journey to Mars, and we're utilizing the innovation, skill and knowledge of the both the government and private sectors," said Jason Crusan, director of NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems. "The next human exploration capabilities needed beyond the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion capsule are deep space, long duration habitation and in-space propulsion. We are now adding focus and specifics on the deep space habitats where humans will live and work independently for months or years at a time, without cargo supply deliveries from Earth."

 

The six partners will have up to approximately 24 months to develop ground prototypes and/or conduct concept studies for deep space habitats. The contract award amounts are dependent on contract negotiations, and NASA has estimated the combined total of all the awards, covering work in 2016 and 2017, will be approximately $65 million, with additional efforts and funding continuing into 2018. Selected partners are required to contribute at least 30 percent of the cost of the overall proposed effort.

 

The ground prototypes will be used for three primary purposes: supporting integrated systems testing, human factors and operations testing, and to help define overall system functionality. These are important activities as they help define the design standards, common interfaces, and requirements while reducing risks for the final flight systems that will come after this phase.

more at the link...

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/prnewswire-space-news.html?rkey=20160809DC65909&filter=1639

 

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DocM    16,537

My notes based on their recent projects

 

Bigelow Aerospace of Las Vegas (large expandable habitats)

 

Boeing of Pasadena, Texas (Bigelow partner)

 

Lockheed Martin of Denver (medium metal habitats)

 

Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia (general systems, Cygnus-based small habitats)

 

Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems of Louisville, Colorado (general systems, ORBITEC ECLSS systems, thrusters and Vortex engines)

 

NanoRacks of Webster, Texas (Shuttle mid-deck experiment racks)

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Draggendrop    5,747

This article could have gone under various threads but I have a feeling Bigelow is going to be front and center, with SpaceX playing a larger role than initially thought.

 

Companies pitch plans for commercial space station modules

 

bigelow-20161012-879x485.jpg

Robert Bigelow discusses Bigelow Aerospace's plans to complete two B330 modules by 2020 at the ISPCS conference Oct. 12. Credit: SpaceNews/Jeff Foust

 

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Bigelow Aerospace is moving ahead with plans announced earlier this year to have two of its B330 expandable modules ready for launch by 2020, with the option of installing one of them on the ISS. Robert Bigelow, chief executive of Bigelow Aerospace, said the company is currently working on a series of ground test articles that will allow the company to “leave our mistakes on the ground” prior to launching the B330 modules.

 

Bigelow has been working on expandable module technology for more than 15 years, but believes that the crew transportation systems needed to make commercial space stations viable are finally ready. “I have throttled my company back and fourth two or three times because of the transportation problem,” he said. “This is the first time that I have ever really decided that it looks like it’s close enough.”

 

A key issue for both companies, either for commercial ISS modules or standalone space stations, is getting the modules launched. Baine said that the large size of the their module limits their launch options, and that the company is “notionally” considering SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to launch it.

 

Bigelow said it’s planning to use the most powerful version of the Atlas 5 to launch its B330 modules, under an agreement his company announced with United Launch Alliance earlier this year. Bigelow said, though, that the company’s funds currently only cover the development the B330 modules, and not their launch.

 

Bigelow said the company may pay for the launches through either revenue from customers for those modules, or by taking in new investors. “It could be countries, it could be large companies, it could be people who aren’t even affiliated with the space world,” he said of potential investors.

more at the link...

http://spacenews.com/companies-pitch-plans-for-commercial-space-station-modules/

 

:)

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Beittil    575

Well, everything finally seems to be coming together for them. There is launching capability for the modules, launching capability for the passengers is finally coming through and meanwhile the BEAM is champing it like a rockstar up at the ISS. Yay.

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Beittil    575

Just in via Bigelow's FB page:

 

16143819_771171176367213_775794728620247

 

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As BEAM continues to outperform expectations, NASA and Bigelow Aerospace are in agreement to evolve BEAM into becoming an everyday asset aboard the ISS — met International Space Station.

I haven't found the details of what this entails yet... but it seems to me like a pretty big victory for their inflatables after not even being halfway through the evaluation period!!!

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DocM    16,537

Never doubted it'd work....too many solid tests.

 

Bring on XBASE!!

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+John.    1,395
4 minutes ago, DocM said:

Never doubted it'd work....too many solid tests.

 

Bring on XBASE!!

Amen!

 

Only issue in this mission so far were some slightly over-performing velcro straps on inflation :D

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DocM    16,537

Yup, and I'd note that BEAM is only half way through its planned evaluation period. Sounds like some serious overperforming.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

I'd say it's time to get a 330 docked and locked for testing next. :yes: 

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SALSN    54

What is the latest word on an independent station?

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

I've been thinking about the 330 some more. Could the upgrades to the Falcon-9 (the Block 5) allow it to tote a 330 uphill to the ISS for testing if it were in it's "base form", ie without the solar panels and without the crew accommodations (sleeping bags, etc) that could be installed on a subsequent mission later on?

 

Some other questions:

 

- If the 330 were to be a module on the ISS, would it really need the solar panels?

- could it be berthed where the IDA is currently located, and the IDA moved to the rear port of the 330 or is it not rigid enough to structurally support spacecraft on that end?

 

As I said, just thinking about it. :) 

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Beittil    575

No, it is just to heavy, not to mention to bulky for the current fairing.

 

But yeah, that configuration on the ISS could work, it is also exactly what Bigelow proposed NASA to do. That is mostly to get NASA to at least pay for a ride to space tho :p

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DocM    16,537

Mass isn't the issue. Every time F9 pushes a Dragon uphill it's launching more mass than Atlas V ever has.

 

An 18 - 19 meter fairing is needed to launch B330.  Atlas V has one, needed for some military payloads, and for now F9/FH don't.  Eventually they'll need one.

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Beittil    575

Hmm, could they still land the stick then or would they have to trash it (aka, ditch legs to save weight for the 330 + heavier fairing )?

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DocM    16,537

The current fairing masses about 4 tonnes, and AIUI they're getting a new one that's both lighter and geared for fairing recovery.

 

F9 Block 5 is said to push 22.8 tonnes uphill, the same as Proton.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Ahh. Well, they'll need one eventually as @DocM stated. Perhaps it's in the cards sooner or later eh? :yes: I was unaware Bigelow had already proposed it that way though ... cool. :D See, I'm getting there!

 

Maybe even a six-way hub at that section where it's berthed to add even more modules, and totally remove that oddball Shuttle-era PMA structure (the "slanted thing"). I think it's an eyesore, myself.

Edited by Unobscured Vision

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