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Bigelow Aerospace updates: thread 2

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DocM    16,537

 

 

ba2286c1720792fd563cd18272340656.jpg

 

4cac877d5e901f3e2370cdca4a14c2a1.jpg

 

Edited by DocM
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Unobscured Vision    2,667

I was watching the live feed this morning and got a little pale when he said he'd run into a problem when the command for the bolts to engage wouldn't respond ... I was like "oh crap" ... glad it was just him not running the procedure correctly. When they finally went (all but that last one, and he issued the command again and it went) I was like "phew!".

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DocM    16,537

Hopefully they got the inflation speed under control with the new rip lines.  Genesis popped open in 0.2 seconds.

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DocM    16,537

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) will be deployed to its full size Thursday, May 26, and begin its two-year technology demonstration attached to the International Space Station. 

 

NASA Television will provide coverage of the expansion beginning at 5:30 a.m. EDT.

 

Events begin Tuesday, May 24 when engineers and team members from NASA and Bigelow Aerospace answer questions about the module’s expansion during a 4 p.m. Facebook Live event and at 5 p.m. on Reddit.com. Anyone may submit questions during these events at:

https://www.facebook.com/NASA/

 

and

 

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/

 

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams will lead Thursday’s operations to expand the module. Designers need daylight and video communication to closely monitor the process starting at 6:10 a.m. Thursday.

 

Space station astronauts will first enter the habitat Thursday, June 2, through the station’s Tranquility module, and re-enter the module several times a year throughout the two-year test period to retrieve sensor data and assess conditions inside the module.

 

Expandable habitats are designed to take up less room on a spacecraft, but provide greater volume for living and working in space once expanded. This first test of an expandable module will allow investigators to gauge how well the habitat performs and specifically, how well it protects against solar radiation, space debris and the temperature extremes of space.

 

BEAM launched April 8 aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and is an example of NASA’s increased commitment to partnering with industry to enable the growth of the commercial use of space. The BEAM project is co-sponsored by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division and Bigelow Aerospace.

 

The International Space Station serves as the world’s leading laboratory for conducting cutting-edge microgravity research and is the primary platform for technology development and testing in space to enable human and robotic exploration of destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including asteroids and Mars.

 

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

GAME ON! :yes: 


Article link | Engadget website

 

Inflatable space stations could orbit the Earth by 2020

Quote

Bigelow Aerospace believes its inflatable habitat can democratize space.

bigelow-b330-ed.jpg

The latest SpaceX launch ferried not just supplies for the ISS, but also aninflatable module designed to add a small living room on the space station. That module was made by Bigelow Aerospace, which has just announcedthat it teamed up with United Launch Alliance to send its much, much bigger inflatable stations called B330 to Low Earth Orbit. One B330 can add a 330-cubic-meter (or 12,000-cubic-foot) living space to the ISS -- that's 30 percent of its total size, whereas the model that piggybacked on Falcon 9 can only expand the station by five percent.

 

In order to fit inside an Atlas V rocket, a B330 will be folded when it takes off from Earth. Even then, the Atlas V is the only rocket with a big enough payload compartment to accommodate one. That likely played a huge part in Bigelow's decision to strike a deal with ULA.

 

Besides expanding the ISS, several B330s can be linked together to form an independent space station, as well. The companies can then rent them out to private corporations and institutions that want to perform non-government scientific research in microgravity. They also think that some companies like Disney could turn them into exciting and (quite literally) out of this world tourist destinations.

 

If NASA agrees to test the B330 on the ISS like it agreed to test out its smaller predecessor for the next two years, then it will be financing the first module's launch. Either way, the duo aims to send the first of the two inflatable habitats they're planning to space sometime in 2020.


Source: Bigelow AerospaceB330

OH YEAH. :D 

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

I was thinking about this, and it's perfect from a Space Politics point of view. Here we have Bigelow, who is pretty much the defacto #2 in the minds of everyone of us NewSpace fans right behind SpaceX in terms of thinking outside the box and pushing new technologies. We love Bigelow and everything they are striving to achieve. :yes:

 

So to be inclusive, fair, and "let's show OldSpace that we're willing to partner with anyone" in true olive branch and "let's get a latte" fashion, they've inked a deal with ULA to test what can only be described as "Bigelow's Moneymaker" Hab ...

 

And ya know what? It's a perfect scenario. I like it. :) It shows OldSpace that Bigelow (and by extension, NewSpace because that is how NewSpace rolls) is willing to work with OldSpace on something as critically important as this. It cannot be stressed how important the 330's testing phase and Orbital Shakedown really is. And they've hired ULA to tote it uphill.

 

Yeah ... handshakes, lattes', rockets and inflatable habs. It's a fantastic time for Space Fans. :yes: 

 

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Beittil    575

I don't get why all these media insist on the 'fact' that this is going to happen. They must have clearly been looking at another presser than I have!

 

BA has an agreement with ULA to reserve a slot for a launch in that 2020 timeframe, but that is about as far as it goes. If nobody pays for that rocket, then it won't fly... ULA certainly isn't going to pony it up, can tell you that much.

 

Bigelow just wants to warm up NASA on this idea and until they bite I do not forsee 330 going up... Yet!

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

It's my understanding that the deal's been finalized for a while now. Mr. Bigelow himself will fund it if NASA declines; and the 330 has been ready to fly since 2014.

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Beittil    575

Then why all that vagueness at that presser last month?

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Not sure. This was the first I'd heard about the deal. *shrug*

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Draggendrop    5,747

Last I heard at the press release, or should I say, the way that I took it, it was just a "cooperative venture" with ULA. My impression was that it is an attempt to convince NASA of it's merits for near future ventures, and no money, at this time, has been allotted for anything...basically a PR event. In a few forums, speculation has it that SpaceX, with it's  full manifest, was probably not approached right away due to it's increasing workload at the moment.

 

I have no idea what is really planned, but have noticed "the usual suspects", with grand plans, appearing to gather for the "feeding trough", which usually means that something is up.

 

I'll wait this out and see who puts the cash down and who punches metal.

 

It would be great to see something, but I have seen too much vaporware and "power point" plans for my fill lately.

 

:D   Besides, I'm distracted by Mars goodies.

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Beittil    575

My point exactly, now I believe that Bigelow is willing to field the money for building an actual flight worthy BA-330, but launching and operating it are a wholly different cookie and thats why they want NASA on board. They also literally said during their combined presser that it was more of an MOU between them (ULA and BA) with a reservation for a flight. But just as I said then, I will not buy it that ULA would actually field the booster without having somebody pony up the money for it. We're talking about a venture here that is under quarterly review for development and resource allocation on their new rocket! Do you really expect Boeing/LM would allow ULA to just 'give away' a rocket? I dont :p

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DocM    16,537

Unless it flew on the maiden flight of a delayed Vulcan at a greatly reduced rate. 

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

And the risk of something going massively wrong is higher, so the rate would obviously be highly reduced ...

 

Guess we'll just have to let this one play out. I was unaware that this was already known about. Heh.

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Draggendrop    5,747
14 hours ago, Unobscured Vision said:

And the risk of something going massively wrong is higher, so the rate would obviously be highly reduced ...

 

Guess we'll just have to let this one play out. I was unaware that this was already known about. Heh.

Well, it is a tough unit as Doc has mentioned in the past. It may even be RUD proof....joking....:D

 

As well, reference Doc's upper post, it appears that some vendors are braver than others, and are willing to be on a few inaugural launches, why not the Vulcan. I think it's a great idea and a good PR move.

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Wouldn't surprise me if it was RUD-proof. We know that Dragon-V1 is. :yes: Just needed some extra contingency code that Dragon-V2 already had.

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Draggendrop    5,747

origaBEAMi – An Origami Paper-Folding Activity to Create and Expand Your Own Miniature BEAM Module

 

Quote

To coincide with the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) technology demonstration for the International Space Station, here is a simple and fun activity called ‘origaBEAMi’ to enable you to quickly build and expand your own miniature BEAM module -- all by a series of simple folds of the paper model provided. 

You will want to first view or download the ‘crew procedures,’ which contain step by step instructions on how to print and fold your BEAM module. You can also view the video that shows the same process. Have fun, and be sure to learn more about BEAM and ISS research and technology!

beam-origami-origabeami-model02.jpg?inte

origaBEAMi paper model inflated upon completion of folding.
Credits: NASA

 

Pdf printout

 

Ground Crew assembly procedures, PDF

 

and a folding video if required.

 

How To Make an Origami BEAM – Fold your own space station module!

video is 5:43 min.

 

 

 

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/origaBEAMi

 

http://www.space.com/32991-nasa-origami-beam-inflatable-space-habitat-model.html

 

:woot:

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Beittil    575

Woohoo, BEAM day! Jacket = on...

IMAG0092.jpg

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DocM    16,537

Intro screen up on NASA TV and the NASA Ustream feed.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Yep, looks like BEAM's got some pyros that didn't cut. Blah. :( Ohm values are all over the place, and those should be consistent if they'd fired. Some variation or straight open if they had. Darn it all.

 

[EDIT] Good grief, those are not the values I'd expect. Sheesh. Nail-biter.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Ok, here she goes ... system armed and executing.

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DocM    16,537

Confirming strap cutting pyros are fired and 3  straps cut. Confirmed. Now removing 4 restraint bolts, then comes inflation. Up to 45 min for that.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Yep, manual inflation. Step 4.2-1 now. 45 or so and she'll be inflated.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

And here goes the 4.2 ... :D 

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