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Bigelow Aerospace updates: thread 2

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Beittil    573

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

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SALSN    54

Really looking forward to this, wish Bigelow aerospace would make some more documentation publicly available about everything they are doing :-)

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DocM    16,486

There hasn't been much to tell. They were ready but commercial crew lagged because of short funding. To preserve their money they went into hibernation until NASA decided to pay for BEAM so they could qualify the tech at ISS.

Now commercial crew providers have been selected, the large launchers needed are preparing to fly BA-330 and larger habs (Falcon Heavy, SLS and BFR) are coming.

Just last week NASA Admin. Gen. Bolden repeated, again, that he expects Bigelow habitats to be used in the ISS follow-on.

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DocM    16,486

Bigelow's BEAM module all packed up and ready to ship to KSC and fly to ISS on Dragon.

b6de3023739cadacd235038a6cf0e108.jpg

From todays Bigelow's Aerospace newser, attended by NASA and others

@spacecom

Bigelow says he interested in moon first then mars. Easier to learn on moon before moving further.

>

Bigelow wants two b330 modules ready for launch in 2018 assuming crew transport available. Too early to discuss uses, tenants.

>

Officials from Japan Manned space Systems Corp* here along with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

*Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS)

http://www.jamss.co.jp/en/index.html

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Smart. SMART. That, my friends, is great strategy at work. Bigelow Aerospace and SpaceX have the "Keys to the Kingdom" right now. Orbital needs a couple of good flights to be back in the running.

 

To be fair, the idea of reusing the old Russian engines was not a terrible one, but since the fault wasn't the engines after all, we'll have to sit back and see what happens. Let's hope that the Assembly Crews check for the silica material being present in the fuel tanks before assembly in the future. If there's another engine-related failure during launch, Orbital will need to rethink using those Russian-sourced parts in their rockets. I personally hope things go well for them.

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DocM    16,486


[b]Bigelow Aerospace and NASA


Execute NextSTEP Contract to Study B330 Utilization[/b]

7/31/2015

NASA has executed a contract with Bigelow Aerospace for the company to develop ambitious human spaceflight missions that leverage its innovative B330 space habitat. The contract was executed under the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) Broad Agency Announcement issued by NASAs Advanced Exploration Systems program.

Via its NextSTEP contract, Bigelow Aerospace will demonstrate to NASA how B330 habitats can be used to support safe, affordable, and robust human spaceflight missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. As the name indicates, the B330 will provide 330 cubic meters of internal volume and each habitat can support a crew of up to six. Bigelow expandable habitats provide much greater volume than metallic structures, as well as enhanced protection against radiation and physical debris. Moreover, Bigelow habitats are lighter and take up substantially less rocket fairing space, and are far more affordable than traditional, rigid modules. These advantages make the B330 the ideal habitat to implement NASAs beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) plans and will support the utilization of transportation systems such as the SLS and Orion. Additionally, the B330s, which will initially be deployed and tested in LEO, will be used as private sector space stations that will conduct a wide variety of commercial activities.

Were eager to work with NASA to show how B330s can support historic human spaceflight missions to the Moon and other destinations in cislunar space while still staying within the bounds of the Agencys existing budget, said Bigelow Aerospaces President and founder, Robert T. Bigelow. NASA originally conceived of expandable habitats decades ago to perform beyond LEO missions, and we at Bigelow Aerospace look forward to finally bringing that vision to fruition.

dual-b330s-lunarorbit.thumb.png.e783830a

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Extreme efficiency of valuable payload space and the ease of repair if damage occurs from MMDI events (even self-sealing!). Gotta love these modules, and I never get tired of reading about Bigelow's advances. All they're waiting on is a ride uphill for testing/proving of the technology, but I suspect that is a formality at this point. We all know it's going to be a rousing success. :yes:

Makes ya wonder what Bigelow is cooking up next. :)

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DocM    16,486

BA-2100. 2x the volume of ISS in one module.

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

BA-2100. 2x the volume of ISS in one module.

And just like that, 65 years of Aerospace Engineering gets trounced with a single module. Gotta love forward thinking!

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Draggendrop    5,747

These units mounted to a rigid backbone with a gravity ring is what we need...i.e. DocM's Nautilus picture. There is no way that I can think of to bypass the health concerns of weightlessness for long duration missions unless we have one/several gravity rings...Cheers....:D

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DocM    16,486

You bypass it with speed: getting to Mars in 3-4 month's vs 9-12. That's SpaceX's plan: keep the flight as short or shorter than an ISS expedition, something we have experience with. 

Also: there's been progress in the artificial magnetosphere from by the guys & gals at CERN & LHC. Apparently their new magnet materials could be embedded in a spacecraft's hull and run at higher temps. Starting a new thread about it.

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Draggendrop    5,747

You bypass it with speed: getting to Mars in 3-4 month's vs 9-12. That's SpaceX's plan: keep the flight as short or shorter than an ISS expedition, something we have experience with. 

Also: there's been progress in the artificial magnetosphere from by the guys & gals at CERN & LHC. Apparently their new magnet materials could be embedded in a spacecraft's hull and run at higher temps. Starting a new thread about it.

True, but symptoms are beginning to be problematic at 4 to 6 month's and compound from there for longer stays, especially for bone density, internal organ placement/shaping, blood pumping differentials and skin thickness. Even being on Mars, the gravity is 38% that of Earth...better, but long term problems still present for very extended stays. I also assume the 3-4 months is when Mars is in direct route due to Mars 687 day orbit.....or use very fast ships to get to furthest distance in that time. 4 months out, 4 months there and rotation back in 4 months for 12 month exposure...otherwise a gravity ring in orbit would be a rehab station with indefinite stay time in space. I am a little pessimistic with all the new idea's since we need something concrete in a decade, and I am reasonably sure nothing of "a game changer" will be available by then. We have over 20 years of space testing and we have not really improved the medical issues with weightlessness, in fact, we are still being surprised by issues cropping up. Just personal opinion, but I feel that astronauts will have to endure hardships that we could fix right now with available technology and still work on the issues of weightlessness. I assume with natural progression, things will forge ahead as is, and in a couple of decades, after medical issues come front and center, a re-evaluation of gravity rings will be forefront. Don't mind me, it's just one instance where scifi writers have hit the nail on the head and some tend not to notice.....Cheers....

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DocM    16,486

After early setup missions the fleet would fly to/from Mars every 2 years, when Earth and Mars are closest. As for 38% gravity, indications are it's enough. That shield of CERN's may be useful in Mars as well, though for permanent habs regolith over an underground or recessed structure is easier & KISS and we have experience building similar structures on Earth. Western pioneers used them extensively. Add inner air restraint layers & airlock and you're in business.

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

After early setup missions the fleet would fly to/from Mars every 2 years, when Earth and Mars are closest. As for 38% gravity, indications are it's enough. That shield of CERN's may be useful in Mars as well, though for permanent habs regolith over an underground or recessed structure is easier & KISS and we have experience building similar structures on Earth. Western pioneers used them extensively. Add inner air restraint layers & airlock and you're in business.

 

 

True, 38% is vastly better than weightlessness, and in my opinion, one could stay on Mars for long duration with shielding, which is the next big item needed. The pioneer structures I am familiar with were what we called "soddy's", and they were almost bullet proof with walls many feet thick of sod and rock. Several years of stay on Mars is definitely possible with radiation shielding, but some rehab will still be required when back on Earth again...myself...I would stay on Mars and a crowbar couldn't get me to come back.....:D

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DocM    16,486

@Tim_Pickens (Bigelow Aerospace propulsion chief)

Super busy building a Bigelow Propulsion Team in Huntsville. Great R&D location in Research Park. See openings: http://t.co/kURvuYPjgP

The Bigeow Alpha Station propulsion module concept - frame right. They have several related designs for different purposes, including one for landing large habitats on the Moon or other bodies.

QuadBA330Complex-800x5001.thumb.jpg.fe1e

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

Looks like there will be some regulatory issues to clear up, namely finding a government body to oversee transport and commerce for a commercial space station. Hope they get this cleared up in the next 9 years, for ISS re-extension and commercial station building....:)

Commercial Space Stations Face Economic and Regulatory Challenges


Bigelow_Aerospace_facilities-879x485.thu
A full-scale mockup of Bigelow Aerospace's Space Station Alpha inside their Nevada facility. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

WASHINGTON — Proposals to develop commercial space stations in low Earth orbit that could serve as successors to the International Space Station face both an uncertain regulatory environment and questions about their economic viability, according to both those planning such stations and those who might regulate them.

At a panel discussion on commercial space stations held here Sept. 22 by the Secure World Foundation, government and industry officials noted that such facilities fall into a regulatory gray area, with no U.S. government agency having clear oversight of them as required by international treaty.

“I’m not a fan of regulation, but I do think this could create problems when you ask for a launch license or payload review,” said Mike Gold, director of Washington operations and business growth for Bigelow Aerospace, a North Las Vegas, Nevada-based company planning commercial stations.

 

 

Gold noted that Article 6 of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 requires governments to perform “continuing supervision” of space activities of entities under its jurisdiction, like companies. That supervision is carried out for some other space activities, like licensing of commercial remote sensing satellites by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and of communications satellites by the Federal Communications Commission.

Some in industry have proposed that the Federal Aviation Administration, which licenses commercial launches and reentries, take on that oversight role for other commercial space activities. Gold said he envisioned a relatively simple system where companies registered their spacecraft with the FAA and informed them of any significant changes. “I think that would meet the Outer Space Treaty’s obligations and create the environment of certainty and predictability that industry and investors need,” he said.

The FAA is interested in taking on that responsibility. “We’re going to continue to work within government to put together the right oversight framework,” said Steph Earle of the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST). That would, he noted, ultimately require congressional action to give the FAA that authority.

Earle added that he believed the FAA would be a better fit for regulating commercial space stations than other agencies, like the FCC and NOAA. “It doesn’t seem that the other agencies are well suited to this, and the FAA thinks that it is,” he said.

Not everyone in industry agrees, however. “I’m not convinced FAA/AST is the right long-term choice to be the orbital space regulating agency,” said Charles Miller, president of NexGen Space. “It’s more than transportation, and I’m not sure in the long term that transportation is the right place for all these functions.”

Miller said he thinks the Commerce Department might be a better fit for on-orbit regulation, since it is charged with broadly supporting commerce, not just transportation, and has some regulatory capability today with NOAA.

Regulatory uncertainty, though, may not be the biggest challenge facing commercial stations. “The barriers to the development of the low Earth orbit economy are economic barriers far more than they are regulatory barriers at the moment,” said Carissa Christensen, managing partner of the Tauri Group,an Alexandria, Virginia-based consultancy.

NASA, in its efforts to stimulate commercial use of the ISS, has played up the potential benefits of performing research in microgravity. However, panelists were skeptical that research could become a viable commercial market for the foreseeable future.

“You won’t find bigger believers in the revolutionary capabilities that microgravity R&D can bring,” Gold said. “However, that market is very immature right now, and it is going to take a long time to grow. I don’t think we’re going to see it in the next 10 years.”

Miller said microgravity research was one of four applications he identified for commercial stations. “To me, it’s kind of speculative,” he said, noting that more research on the ISS is needed to see what could be commercially viable. Markets he thought could be more feasible for commercial stations were serving as “transfer nodes” for spacecraft bound for other orbits, propellant depots, and on-orbit assembly of satellites.

“The immediate market is flying people,” Gold said, both for current ISS partners and other national space agencies. Miller added that tourism could also be a sizable market, particularly if training could be made less onerous than that currently required to fly to the ISS on Soyuz vehicles.

Both Gold and Miller suggested NASA should help support commercial space station development by agreeing to purchase capacity on such stations or supporting their development through a partnership similar to the one NASA used for commercial cargo and crew systems. “NASA needs to play some role as a catalyst,” Gold said.

That support, they said, could help avoid a hiatus in crewed missions when the ISS reaches the end of its life. “The number one issue is that we are at risk of another gap in human spaceflight,” Miller said. “We need a seamless, low-risk transition to private, commercial space stations.”

 http://spacenews.com/commercial-space-stations-face-economic-and-regulatory-challenges/

 

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DocM    16,486

George Sowers (@george_sowers) tweeted at 4:13 AM on Mon, Nov 09, 2015:
@RocketScient1st @torybruno Starliner & crew dragon to fly in 2017. Bigelow farther along than you think. Think positive!

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Draggendrop    5,747

misc "goodies"...

SpaceX mission patch has Bigelow module shown....

9hJsle2.thumb.jpg.ed980e143aac1d076a1523
Imgur image

--------------------------------------------------------------

BEAM module waits for transportion to the ISS

BEAM1.thumb.jpg.85a5f9eb925a731d2d8faae2
Beam will serve as an experimental module designed to test the hardiness of expandable modules in space. Photo Credit: Jim Seida / NBC News
 

Note..above photo is another view of the image that Doc posted prior.....

Bigelow Aerospace is still awaiting word on when their Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) will be transported to the International Space Station (ISS). Engineers at Bigelow packed up the unit for transportation to Florida from their Nevada headquarters in March of this year.

The module was supposed to fly to ISS in September aboard SpaceX’s CRS-8 mission. However, that was before a Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the CRS-7 Dragon cargo ship bound for the outpost disintegrated during launch.

SpaceX is currently working on returning the Falcon 9 rocket to flight status after having determined that the failure was caused by a faulty mounting strut holding the helium tanks in place in the booster’s second stage.

The Return to Flight mission is scheduled to carry a series of 11 satellites for Orbcomm no earlier than sometime in November. This switch to Orbcomm from the originally scheduled SES-9 satellite will let SpaceX test the relight capability of their upgraded upper stage before it is needed on the SES flight.

CRS-8 will launch after the Orbcomm and SES missions fly. BEAM will be tucked into the trunk of the Dragon capsule. Once berthed at the orbiting lab, the station’s robotic arm will take BEAM and berth it to the aft port of the Tranquility module.

The expandable module concept has come full circle as NASA originally designed the system that Bigelow used as its foundation for the BEAM module. That module, called TransHab, would have been a four-level expandable system designed to replace a Habitation module that has since been cancelled. The expandable unit would have provided the crew with significantly more living space. The TransHab was cancelled by congress in 2000 when the space station budget was under significant pressure. Now, the TransHab technology is once again poised to expand the ISS.

The technology that gives BEAM its structure and provides protection for the crew is an amalgamation of existing materials. While BEAM manufacturing techniques have been upgraded and are regarded as a trade secret, the original TransHab module used a dozen layers to build up a one-foot-thick wall capable of absorbing micro-meteorite impacts.

The walls consist of alternating layers of foam and a material called Nextel. These layers provide impact resistance and thermal protection as the outside temperature can vary from –200 °F (–128.9 °C) in the shade to over 250 °F (121.1 °C) in sunlight. The inner structures form an airtight bladder that contains the pressurized atmosphere. Bigelow replaced the Nextel cloth with Vectran and Kevlar during the reengineering process.
 

 

 Transhab-cutaway-491x655.thumb.jpg.98420
The Transit Habitat was a NASA project in the 1990s that was used to develop technology for expandable habitats. After the project was cancelled in 2000, Bigelow Aerospace purchased the rights to the patents. Image Credit: NASA
 

TransHab was designed to provide living quarters, but BEAM is a small test article with a modest amount of space gain. BEAM expands to roughly 13 feet (3.96 m) long and 10.5 feet (3.2 m) in diameter, whereas the TransHab module was planned to be 36 feet (10.97 m) long and nearly 25 feet (7.62 m) in diameter.

While additional space for storage is welcome on the ISS, the BEAM module will not be used as living quarters during its stay at the ISS. BEAM will be a two-year test to see how the module holds pressure, protects occupants from radiation, and its effectiveness at micrometeorite impacts.

BEAM is not the first Bigelow expandable structure to soar into orbit. Genesis I is a test article that was launched in 2006. It is 14 feet (4.27 m) long and eight feet (2.44 m) in diameter. It was followed up by a second article called Genesis II in 2007. Both vehicles are still on orbit, although active operations ceased years ago. Both of these units tested expansion techniques as well as module stability and on-orbit operations, including communications.

All three of these test articles (Genesis IGenesis II and BEAM) are demonstrations for Bigelow’s primary product, the BA-330. This module, as its name implies, will have 330 cubic meters (11,650 cubic feet) of pressurized space. No launch date has been set for a free floating BA-330 and Bigelow has not announced any potential customers, although they have hinted that several countries and private corporations are interested in the module.

 

 BEAM1-1.thumb.jpg.c7e660f7fc2d1d12d782ed
BEAM will be attached to the aft port of Tranquility sometime in early 2016. Image Credit: NASA

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/iss/beam-module-waits-for-transportion-to-the-iss/

----------------------------------------------

Could Astronauts Get All Their Oxygen From Algae Or Plants? And Their Food Also?
http://www.science20.com/robert_inventor/could_astronauts_get_all_their_oxygen_from_algae_or_plants_and_their_food_also-156990

The above article is a bit long but very informative. It covers various large scale tests to determine viability of producing a crew's oxygen needs via plant growth and shows that it is possible. In the article, it mentions integration by use of bigelow modules, for extra romm to enable plant growth and the various means of producing "light" for growth. A few images of interest....

b330split1.thumb.jpg.533fd533094a5595cb6
Proposed BA330 from Bigelow - mass of 20 tons, and internal volume 330 cubic meters. By comparison, the Destiny module is 14.5 tonnes for 106 cubic meters of pressurized volume.

Future habitats will have more space available for growing crops for the same mass. So you'd save on the payload for the crops module(s) sooner.

720499main_beam_iss_400x300.thumb.jpg.b7
The inflatable BEAM module, from Bigelow aerospace, which will fly to the ISS later this year is 4 meters long, 3.2 meters in diameter and has 16 m3 living volume, and weighs 1.36 metric tons.

:)

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Draggendrop    5,747

Good article on Space habitats....

NASA reviews progress of habitat development for deep-space exploration

 

A November meeting of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) Advanced Exploration Systems division has discussed the progress made in Fiscal Year 2015 and upcoming FY16 milestones surrounding the development of long-duration habitats needed for astronauts on missions from cis-lunar flights to multi-year trips to Mars.

Review of Fiscal Year 2015 and a look ahead to FY16:

Overall, the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) division established 72 milestones for Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15).

Of those milestones, over 60% included flight demonstration elements, according to the HEOMD AES status update.

Of the 72 milestones established, the AES defined an achievement goal of “at least 80%”. In total, 56 of the 72 milestones were met, a 78% achievement rate. The 56 accomplishments were overseen by 572 civil servants and 162 contractors.

Some of those accomplishments met the habitation systems requirements to provide crew a space to “live and work safely in deep space, including beyond earth orbit habitats [with] reliable life-support systems, radiation protection, fire safety, and logistics reduction,” notes the HEOMD AES presentation.

Furthermore, the AES presentation notes that deep space habitation modules must be capable of supporting crew with “systems sufficient to support at least four crew on Mars-class mission durations and dormancy” lasting 1,100 days.

With numerous tests, validations, and verifications of habitat structures and systems already carried out on Earth, the Bigelow Aerospace company completed a major effort in FY15 to deliver an in-space test article to the Kennedy Space Center in the form of their Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) – which will be installed on the International Space Station next year.

 

 2015-11-13-192315-350x241.thumb.jpg.e125

The BEAM is set to launch on the SpaceX-8 mission, currently targeting launch in January 2016.

The launch of Bigelow’s BEAM will allow the company and NASA to demonstrate the “inflatable habitat on ISS.”

Moreover, delivery of BEAM fits directly into NASA’s Next Space Technology Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) initiative, which will see “commercial partnerships to develop concepts for cis-lunar habitats that are extensible to Mars transit habitats.”

To facilitate NextSTEP, NASA awarded four contracts in FY15 for participation in the habitat concept development part of their NextSTEP Commercial Habitat Concept Studies program.

NASA further awarded three contracts in the study to specifically address habitat Environmental Control and Life Support Systems.

For FY16, activities surrounding AES habitat development will include BEAM’s launch to the ISS as well as the completion of subsystems for the VASIMR test article in August 2016, part of the NextSTEP Commercial Habitat Concept Studies program.

If the current schedule holds, September 2016 will see the completion of the Habitat Systems Concept Studies program, though additional follow-on contracts may be awarded.

More data at the link...
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/nasa-progress-habitat-development-deep-space-exploration/

 2015-11-13-191650-350x258.thumb.jpg.5f70

2015-11-13-191827-350x201.thumb.jpg.c458

2015-11-13-192924-350x230.thumb.jpg.9f2a

:)

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Can't wait to see how it turns out. :yes:

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Draggendrop    5,747

Found the video of the unit Doc posted on the ISS thread...Nautilus...should have had this, instead of SLS........

Nautilus-X - A Real Spaceship At Last

video is 2:55 min

Inspired by and based on the Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle concept by NASA's Technology Applications Assessment Team presented in 2011.

 

 

:D 

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DocM    16,486

Imagine that backbone but with MCT landers replacing some or most of the Bigelow modules.

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Unobscured Vision    2,666

Imagine that backbone but with MCT landers replacing some or most of the Bigelow modules.

Now we're talking. :D

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