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Bigelow Aerospace updates: thread 2

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DocM    16,485

NASA has said they'd like to transition to commercial stations, and Bigelow isn't the only game in town. 

 

A small station, more of an Outpost, can be built up of Cygnus cargo ship segments. This is being developed under NASA's NextSTEP program,

 

 https://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/feature-stories/NEXTStep/default.aspx

 

and Axiom Space has a concept of their own which could be used with Bigelow or Cygnus segments or on its own .  Axiom was created by ex-NASA ISS people.

 

https://www.axiomspace.com

 

But OTOH, the BFS has more internal volume than ISS anyhow. A station ship.

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

still don't understand BAC's deal on using ULA for launching. SpaceX is cheaper by a factor of TEN to 100. Once BFR is up and running they'll be cheaper by 500%. That's five hundred percent. 

 

We've gone from several BILLION dollars (and outright impossibility) to a few million dollars worth of fuel, the personnel overhead, and the Insurance in the span of a decade folks -- and they're seriously not going to take advantage of it?

 

I'm one of BAC's biggest fanboys on the face of the Earth but I fail to see where the logic is in their decision-making process.

 

Ya know what? If I had the money I'd buy BAC myself and do a much better job of making the decisions there, because clearly there's some crap going on that ain't very healthy. Those people are moving at a god-awfully slow pace, making deals & decisions that ought not to be made with all the wrong Industry players and Bigelow himself just creeps me out anymore.

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Beittil    573

I still wonder whom they want to have pay for all of this. I read stuff about them wanting to sell it to NASA, but other than that... meh. ULA isn't going to be donating rockets for no money and Bigelow might be inclined to build a BA330 out of his own pocket, but no way he will purchase a launch for it without having somebody pay for it. I just don't see that happening.

 

Also... that Dragon in the animation, lol. No trunk & thrusters at totally the wrong location.

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Augh ... 500% ... my brain sometimes. I meant 50%. Sheesh. :no: 

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DocM    16,485

 

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DocM    16,485

Bigelow XBASE video. 

 

XBASE would be a follow-on to the BEAM module already attached to ISS, whose mission has been stretched from two years to as long as four years. Very successful. Results so far,

 

Radiation comparable to the rest of ISS

 

Several MMOD impacts with no penetration

 

Astronaut entries increased

 

BEAM to be used for storage rather than 

continue as a vacant test module

 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

We knew it would work, and work well. :yes: 

 

Lets get a couple of 330's up there for testing now. Need to get the datasets and averages logged. :D 

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DocM    16,485

 

Sounds like the balloons are going up, so to speak.

 

Bigelow Space Operations front page

 

Bigelow_Operations.thumb.jpg.ad7b03fd81bdae0285fc09c372a9de07.jpg

Edited by DocM
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IsItPluggedIn    1,684

Are they still flying this up on the Delta Heavy? Or did they make a deal with SpaceX now that Heavy is flying? 

 

Im just curious because of the timing.

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DocM    16,485
18 minutes ago, IsItPluggedIn said:

Are they still flying this up on the Delta Heavy? Or did they make a deal with SpaceX now that Heavy is flying? 

 

Im just curious because of the timing.

 

They're flying on Atlas V with the stretched USAF EELV fairing, which is a few meters longer than SpaceX's current fairing. Expect to see SpaceX field a similar "Class 3" fairing soon as it'll be required for the upcoming EELV 2 contracts. 

 

Class 3 internal dimensions

5a80b9631331d_EELV2largefairing(orig).thumb.jpg.30ea63dbf8af5c0f088d565b078b3975.jpg

 

Edited by DocM

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DocM    16,485

Big stuff on the Bigelow front,

 

A new operational subsidiary

 

A deal with CASIS,* for handling ISS stuff

 

* Center for the Advancement of Science in Space

 

bigelow_space_operations-1.jpg

 

Quote


LAS VEGAS, NV, February 20, 2018 (Bigelow Aerospace PR)  Bigelow Aerospace is excited to introduce Bigelow Space Operations (BSO), a new commercial space company that is the sales, operational and customer service company that manages and operates space stations developed by Bigelow Aerospace.

With the two launches of B330-1 and B330-2 expected in 2021, the time is now in 2018 to begin BSO activity. These single structures that house humans on a permanent basis will be the largest, most complex structures ever known as stations for human use in space.

These single structures that house humans on a permanent basis will be the largest, most complex structures ever known for human use in space. BSO begins now in 2018 to market these facilities and prepare engagements that lead to transportation of crew, clients, cargo and station operations.

The customers that B330 will seek to accommodate will be very diverse.

Bigelow Space Operations has a mission to market and operate these and other space stations including future generations developed by Bigelow Aerospace that are so capable, so diverse and so large that they can accommodate virtually unlimited use almost anywhere.

Over time, Bigelow Aerospace will manufacture a single station, launched on a single rocket that will contain over 2.4 times the pressurized volume of the entire International Space Station, and we intend for BSO to market and operate these also. A new manufacturing facility for these giant stations would have to be built in Florida, Alabama or other suitable location.

But first, there is something very important that BSO must do this year. The time is now to quantify in detail the global, national and corporate commercial space market for orbiting stations. This subject has had ambiguity for many years. BSO will be spending millions of dollars this year to establish concrete answers.

BSO is hiring now to fill many diverse positions. Many of you need to be willing to travel.

For more information on Bigelow Space Operations visit www.bigelowspaceops.com. Interact with Bigelow Space Operations at www.facebook.com/bigelowspaceops, www.twitter.com/bigelowspaceops, and www.instagram.com/bigelowspaceops.

For more information on Bigelow Aerospace visit www.bigelowaerospace.com. Connect with Bigelow Aerospace at www.facebook.com/bigelowaerospace, www.twitter.com/BigelowSpace and www.instagram.com/bigelowspace.

 

And.....

 

Quote


LAS VEGAS, NV, February 20, 2018 (BSO PR)  Bigelow Space Operations (BSO) is proud to announce a partnership with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), manager of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. BSO is officially a user of the ISS National Lab, and will be facilitating the integration of payloads for commercial, academic and government customers.

In this capacity, BSO intends to contract with other payload integrating companies where we not only can help those companies to develop their dynamic futures for themselves and their successful clients extending beyond ISS operations, but to also offer ourselves as a customer and understand how to help CASIS. This may be important if CASIS is to someday enable usage of B330 stations.

BSOs mandate is to promote the services of the ISS National Lab, promote other payload facilitating companies and to develop new relationships for the ISS and Bigelow Aerospace stations. BSO will kick off this through a recently awarded CASIS partner agreement.

With larger commercial platforms on the horizon, BSO recognizes the importance of gaining experience on the ISS. Through this experience, BSO leadership hopes to gain a better knowledge of current and future customer needs on orbit as they pertain to larger scale operations that are both science and non-science related that cannot be handled by the ISS.

If you are interested in partnering with BSO to fly payloads to the ISS National Lab, or to become familiar with future commercial platforms please contact us for more information.

BSO is the first and only company to own and operate a privately owned module on the ISS. BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, was recently awarded a life extension to become more of an operational asset on the ISS.

For more information on Bigelow Space Operations visit www.bigelowspaceops.com. Interact with Bigelow Space Operations at www.facebook.com/bigelowspaceops, www.twitter.com/bigelowspaceops, and www.instagram.com/bigelowspaceops.

For more information on Bigelow Aerospace visit www.bigelowaerospace.com. Connect with Bigelow Aerospace at www.facebook.com/bigelowaerospace, www.twitter.com/BigelowSpace and www.instagram.com/bigelowspace.

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

:yes: Lots and lots of research, development and testing to be done for Bigelow on this front. They're gonna need lots of very capable, forward-thinking people to do it.

 

And it's a moving target -- short deadlines here. Gonna have to be rapid-prototype, rapid-development stuff. None of this "10-year R&D" nonsense. They're gonna need this gear within FIVE for real-condition testing; aiming for the 2025 timeframe (at the latest) to have it in-use.

 

Gotta love Commercial ... they're doing it right. :D 

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Beittil    573
Quote

With the two launches of B330-1 and B330-2 expected in 2021, the time is now in 2018 to begin BSO activity.

I must have missed this, but weren't these supposed to be launched in 2020?

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DocM    16,485
6 minutes ago, Beittil said:

I must have missed this, but weren't these supposed to be launched in 2020?

 

They're flying on Vulcan-Centaur 5 and the schedule for it is sketchy. They haven't decided between the AR-1 and BE-4 engines yet, and the tank sizes follow that decision (RP-1 vs. CH4.)

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Unobscured Vision    2,665
37 minutes ago, DocM said:

 

They're flying on Vulcan-Centaur 5 and the schedule for it is sketchy. They haven't decided between the AR-1 and BE-4 engines yet, and the tank sizes follow that decision (RP-1 vs. CH4.)

A decision that was supposed to have been made a year ago ... 

 

The BE-4 is ULA's engine to lose, frankly. If they don't, Blue is free and clear to go full steam ahead with New Glenn however they see fit. Sure, ULA could use the AR-1, get a halfway decent RP-1 engine but they're staying with the tried-and-tested and don't get any of the cost benefits or development avenues that CH4 offers.

 

SpaceX really set the bar insanely high for RP-1 engines; far higher than a lot of people really get. OldSpace won't publicly say it. It cuts into their market share. Aerojet can't be bothered to set their sights high anymore either; it's like they've no longer got the will to try. Long as they keep cranking out those RL10's and the short-burn, low-thrust solid boosters for the Mil/Gov contracts the money will keep pouring in. Who cares if ATK got the NASA contracts for SLS Boosters? They'll be making the Orion Main Engines, so it doesn't matter ...

 

Point is, everyone's in bed with everyone else when it comes to OldSpace. It's a biiiiig dinner every evening, and "the family eats together".

 

Sorry for the rant ... I think it's still laughable that the decision hasn't been made regarding an engine for a platform that still hasn't been finalized that was supposed to fly two years from now. :laugh: And IT was supposed to tote a B330 uphill for testing.

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IsItPluggedIn    1,684

Surely they could fly this on FH before then, instead of waiting on ULA to build a new launcher. By the time they launch Vulcan, they could loft both of them at the same time with BFR.

This sounds very much like old space playing games. 

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

There's some chatter that Bigelow is going to cancel the deal with ULA and go with SpaceX (now that Fairing 2.0 is a thing), consequences be damned. It's a moving target and Bigelow isn't going to wait for Tory & Co. to get their [snip] together. The Atlas V can barely push a Cygnus uphill; and Mr. Bigelow himself isn't comfortable with the lack of performance margins. ULA almost lost a Cygnus because of those margins, if we recall. Took nearly ALL of that S2's fuel to get it into a minimum orbit, and by then that S2 was spent. It didn't even have enough to deorbit itself afterward. And that Cygnus weighed just 7,758 lbs (citation) ... 

 

A B330 is nearly 6x heavier at minimum. Can't do it with anything less than an Atlas V 552 configuration (the most beefy one, the twin-Centaur S2; see versions) if we're looking at the numbers. A B330 comes in at 43,000 lbs (citation) to a maximum of 50,000 lbs. It'll be THE heaviest thing the Atlas has EVER launched or attempted to launch. They need to launch this on a Delta IV-H if they want the necessary margins (see capability).

 

Naaah. ULA has some serious issues internally that need to be sorted if that company is going to survive.

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DocM    16,485

They NEED to get that Vulcan engine choice done, and soon. 

 

Againstthat the BE-4 was slowed down by a test "issue." And AR-1 is treading water, with Aerojet Rocketdyne  crying poverty.

 

SpaceX has performed way more Raptor  tests, and for far more seconds, with the USAF versions delivery due in December.

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Beittil    573
 
Kirk Shireman is NASA's manager for the ISS program!

 

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DocM    16,485

So, the durability question has been answered.

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Yep! I was reading recently that they added some support struts inside to accommodate stowage. Fantastic test run that proved to be a great success -- not that we had any doubts at all. I was hoping for this outcome. :yes: 

 

 

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DocM    16,485

 

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Beittil    573

Now go get one of those darn BA330's in orbit already :D

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DocM    16,485

The BEAM module's performance has been so good it's cleared to stay attached to ISS until 2028.

 

Space News...

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

:yes:(Y) 

 

We knew this was a possibility, but damn that's a good feeling to (once again) be validated.

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