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Bigelow Aerospace updates: thread 2

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SALSN    54

Otherwise, the FH should fly later this year, if everything goes according to plan.
Would be cool if they did an overhaul on the ISS and upgraded it to accommodate more people, but it would probably need a lot of new components, and probably a new backbone, perhaps it would be better to just build a brand new station. Launch cost has declined a lot since ISS was put up and then all the lessons learned on the ISS could be applied from the get go. A lot of modules could probably be reused though.

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

Yeah, I see your point. Lots of lessons learned from ISS, and the technologies and approaches have improved by several orders of magnitude since then. Some of the ISS components are based on 1980's technology. Not saying it's bad, just that's what worked for the time and there's better/lighter/cheaper/more efficient nowadays that gets the job done for waaaaay less cost and could (should) be able to be more rapidly developed.

 

Russia wants to build Mir-2 using these lessons and Industry resources, and I think they've got the right idea. :yes: Let's follow their lead.

 

 

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SALSN    54

I wonder if the Russians would consider Bigelow modules for their station.
Or if they are even able to still build a new station, their development has been slow since the fall of the USSR.

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DocM    16,593

Dunno if transferring the modules or the techs in them would pass an ITAR* review. The modules have some rather advanced thruster systems which are powered by in-situ resource utilization. Neat stuff.

 

* US International Traffic in Arms Regulations  law, restricting the sale or transfer of arms or Dual-Use technologies. 

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

Picking up where we left off.

 

Here's the goods on the Atlas V - 552 configuration: Wikipedia - Atlas V

 

Atlas_V_family.png

 

Quote

Each Atlas V booster configuration has a three-digit designation that indicates the features of that configuration. The first digit shows the diameter (in meters) of the payload fairing, and always has a value of "4" or "5". The second digit indicates the number of solid rocket boosters attached to the base of the rocket, and can range from "0" through "3" with the 4-meter fairing, and "0" through "5" with the 5-meter fairing. As shown to the right, all layouts of solid boosters are asymmetrical. The third digit represents the number of engines on the Centaur stage, either "1" or "2". For example, an Atlas V 552 has a 5-meter fairing, five solid rocket boosters, and two Centaur engines, whereas an Atlas V 431 has a 4-meter fairing, three solid rocket boosters, and a single Centaur engine. As of 2014, only the single-engine Centaur (SEC) has been used. The first launch using the dual-engine Centaur (DEC) upper stage was planned for November 2016, when an Atlas V 402 will carry the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser vehicle for its first orbital test flight, but it is not scheduled as of November 2016.

The article also says that the 552 configuration has never flown. It's THE  most capable version of an Atlas V, able to tote 20,520 kg to LEO. (The HLV version has never been tested or flown and as such cannot be considered a viable LV.) This is as powerful as an Atlas V gets, folks.

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DocM    16,593

My analysis of why,

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

Yep, just saw it. We've got storms and tornado watches and stuff tonight, so internet has been flaky.

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DocM    16,593
1 minute ago, Unobscured Vision said:

Yep, just saw it. We've got storms and tornado watches and stuff tonight, so internet has been flaky.

That may be from the Amazon servers issue, big problems today. Not sure yet if it's a malfunction or a hack.

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

In reference to the above, I also suspect that Bigelow and ULA have probably modified the fairing for this launch as well. This likely won't be the standard 5m fairing at all.

1 minute ago, DocM said:

That may be from the Amazon servers issue, big problems today. Not sure yet if it's a malfunction or a hack.

No, it's our area. Severe storms and stuff, had to shut down for a while. Lightning strikes also took down Comcast for twenty minutes.

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DocM    16,593

We had storms here too, but AT&T was solid.

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

Now everyone is winding up to get things done...:)

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SALSN    54

Not so much news, but they did just put it up on their YouTube channel, and still interesting though it is from 2015.
 

Quote

BEAM Press Conference held at Bigelow Aerospace on March 12, 2015.

Bigelow Aerospace B.E.A.M. Media Event

Put it on while doing something else, and was waiting for some interesting news, until I embarrassingly late realized that it was an old video :-P

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DocM    16,593

There's something in the works, but they ain't talkin' yet. Maybe an XBASE or free flying station.

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SALSN    54

A clip from National Geographic's Origins Series

Yet another video.
This one also seems to be of a certain age, and for some reason they have removed all their other videos, including the one I linked yesterday, so that is why that link leads to nothing now :-/

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DocM    16,593

 

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+John.    1,395

ohh my body is ready for anything Bigelow.

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

Cool guy, but a little .. um .. different.

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DocM    16,593

Not always a bad thing. Like a fruity, but otherwise productive and otherwise cool, elder uncle ;)

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DocM    16,593

BEAM is doing well enough to discus extending its mission by at least 3 years

 

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-may-extend-beam-s-time-on-the-international-space-station/

 

Quote


Oct. 2, 2017

NASA May Extend BEAMs Time on the International Space Station

NASA is exploring options with Bigelow Aerospace to extend the life of the privately owned Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. Known as BEAM, the module is attached to the International Space Station and continues to perform well during its technology demonstration mission. NASA has issued a synopsis of an intended contract action to partner with Bigelow Aerospace to extend the life of the expandable habitat and use it for long-term in-orbit storage. This step continues NASAs commitment to expand private-public partnerships, scientific research and commercial applications aboard station to maximize the benefits from humanitys premiere laboratory in microgravity.

NASAs use of BEAM as part of a human-rated system will allow Bigelow Aerospace to demonstrate its technology for future commercial applications in low-Earth Orbit. Initial studies have shown that soft materials can perform as well as rigid materials for habitation volumes in space and that BEAM has performed as designed in resistance to space debris.

BEAM launched on the eighth SpaceX Commercial Resupply Service mission in 2016. After being attached to the Tranquility Node using the stations robotic Canadarm2, it was filled with air to expand it for a two-year test period to validate overall performance and capability of expandable habitats. Since the initial expansion, a suite of sensors installed by the crew automatically take measurements and monitor BEAMs performance to help inform designs for future habitat systems. Learning how an expandable habitat performs in the thermal environment of space and how it reacts to radiation, micrometeoroids and orbital debris will provide information to address key concerns about living in the harsh environment of space. This extension activity will deepen NASAs understanding of expandable space systems by making the BEAM a more operational element of the space station to be actively used in storage and crew operations.

Space station crew members have entered BEAM 13 times since its expansion in May 2016. The crew has conducted radiation shielding experiments, installed passive radiation badges called Radiation Area Monitors, and they routinely collect microbial air and surface samples. These badges and samples are returned to Earth for standard microbial and radiation analysis at the Johnson Space Center.

The original plan called for engineers to robotically jettison BEAM from the space station following the two-year test and validation period, allowing it to burn up during its descent through Earths atmosphere. However, after almost a year and a half into the demonstration with positive performance, NASA now intends to continue supporting BEAM for stowage use and to allow Bigelow Aerospace to use the module as a test-bed for new technology demonstrations. A new contract would likely begin later this year, overlapping the original planned test period, for a minimum of three years, with two options to extend for one additional year. At the end of the new contract, the agency may consider further life extension or could again consider jettisoning BEAM from the station.

Using the space inside BEAM would allow NASA to hold between 109 to 130 Cargo Transfer Bags of in-orbit stowage, and long-term use of BEAM would enable NASA to gather additional performance data on the modules structural integrity, thermal stability and resistance to space debris, radiation and microbial growth to help NASA advance and learn about expandable space habitat technology in low-Earth orbit for application toward future human exploration missions. Given that the volume of each Cargo Transfer Bag is about 1.87 cubic feet (0.53 cubic meters), use of BEAM for stowage will free an equivalent space of about 3.7 to 4.4 International Standard Payload Racks, enabling more space in the ISS for research.

With an extension of the partnership, Bigelow also would be able to continue to demonstrate its technology for future commercial applications in low-Earth orbit. The public-private partnership between NASA and Bigelow supports NASAs objective to develop deep space habitation capabilities for human missions beyond Earth orbit while fostering commercial capabilities for non-government applications to stimulate the growth of the space economy.

Last Updated: Oct. 3, 2017

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DocM    16,593

 

 

 


 

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

HELL YES. :yes: :woot: :rofl: And why not keep using it? BEAM is already there and showing no signs of degradation at all. Everyone wins with this arrangement.

 

And I really have my eyes pinned on the B330 deploy in 2020. That'll be special.

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DocM    16,593

Not to mention that the BFR/ "Chomper" (payload BFS, until it gets a name) could easily deploy a B-2100 from its massive alligator payload bay.

 

 

IMG_20170929_183623.jpg

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DocM    16,593

THREE Vulcan launches to get B330 to LLO.

 

Also, Vulcan Centaur will be ready in 2019, however Vulcan ACES is not likely to be ready until 2024+. Getting B330 to LLO by 2022 sounds a bit iffy.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/17/16488646/bigelow-aerospace-united-launch-alliance-b330-habitat-lunar-depot

 

Quote

Bigelow Aerospace wants to put an inflatable space habitat in orbit around the Moon

 

Bigelow Aerospace, a company devoted to manufacturing inflatable space habitats, says it’s planning to put one of its modules into orbit around the Moon within the next five years. The module going to lunar space will be the B330, Bigelow’s design concept for a standalone habitat that can function autonomously as a commercial space station. The plan is for the B330 to serve as something of a lunar depot, where private companies can test out new technologies, or where astronauts can stay to undergo training for deep space missions.

>

 

 

 

 

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IsItPluggedIn    1,684

Makes sense, Launch it into LEO expand it, fill it with stuff, then push it to the Moon.

 

I wonder if NASA will use commercials or if they will get pressured into building their own again so the pork continues. 

 

However there are more than a couple of nations looking at Luna bases so they could find others willing to invest. 

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