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Bigelow Aerospace update


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#1 DocM

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 12:48 AM

Life support seems to be progressing....

Space News....

Bigelow Tests Life Support System

WASHINGTON — Bigelow Aerospace completed an initial closed-loop test in March of a prototype environmental control and life support (ECLS) system designed to support extended crew stays inside the inflatable habitats the company is building to provide research facilities and hotel accommodations in space.

The March 31 demonstration was conducted inside the company’s North Las Vegas headquarters in a newly constructed test chamber, according to Eric Haakonstad, Bigelow Aerospace chief engineer. He said the test involved locking three Bigelow engineers inside the 180-cubic-meter structure for about eight hours, during which they performed a variety of tasks that demonstrated the ECLS system’s ability to control temperature, humidity, pressure, oxygen content and the removal of carbon dioxide and trace-gas contaminants from the environment.
>
Haakonstad said the initial checkout of the test facility is the first of many demos planned over the next year to simulate and test ECLS systems in support of long-duration crew stays in orbit. He said within the next couple of months Bigelow Aerospace plans to conduct a 30-hour demonstration of the ECLS system followed by another lasting up to a week.

He said both the ECLS system and its test chamber were built in-house, giving the company more control over system development.
>
Haakonstad said Bigelow’s ECLS design incorporates lessons learned from systems used aboard platforms including the international space station, the Mir space station, the space shuttle and, to a lesser extent, the Orion crew capsule currently under development by NASA.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel here,” Haakonstad said. “All we’re trying to do is take the technology development that our tax dollars through NASA have developed and package them into a more producible form factor. We’re not trying to be cutting edge in terms of technology; we are trying to be cutting edge in terms of affordability and availability and ruggedness.”

However, unlike ECLS systems designed for short-term trips between Earth and the space station, Bigelow’s ECLS system is designed to support long-duration missions on orbit.
>


Edited by DocM, 18 April 2011 - 12:49 AM.

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#2 DocM

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 02:29 AM

SatNews....

Robert Bigelow, Founder and President of Bigelow Aerospace, will be the Honored Keynote Speaker at the ISDC Governors' Dinner and Gala to be held in the Davidson Center at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama on May 20.
>
Mr. Bigelow will also receive the National Space Society’s Space Pioneer Award for Space Development for his efforts to advance the technology of space habitats....
>


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#3 ElGuapoGuano

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:18 PM

I would really like to see Bigelow succeed! Getting the ECLS system working is a major milestone!

#4 DocM

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 01:52 PM

I think NASA wants that too - it's becoming so obvious that this type of hab is the way to go, both for facilities and spacecraft habs during long missions.
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#5 Dewtey

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 03:35 PM

Especially as it provides MORE protection from radiation and other objects than current designs.

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#6 Cookie_Thief

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 05:15 PM

I think NASA wants that too - it's becoming so obvious that this type of hab is the way to go, both for facilities and spacecraft habs during long missions.


Takes the pressure off NASA w/regard to future space station design and implementation. If the Bigelow inflatables prove successful in actual use, the ISS model of "hard" modules may become a thing of the past.
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#7 Mee_n_Mac

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 06:14 AM

Takes the pressure off NASA ...


Ha ! Good one !!
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#8 Cookie_Thief

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 09:55 AM


Takes the pressure off NASA ...


Ha ! Good one !!

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#9 Boris

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:51 AM

Bigelow Presentation from the ISDC. Make sure you scroll all the way to the end. :acool:

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#10 Cookie_Thief

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:20 AM

Thanks Boris. Pretty nice.
I'm curious about its power generation capabilities; are they going to be mission specific, for example? The renderings show what appears to be a minimum setup, just enough to power the module itself.
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#11 Dewtey

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:30 AM

Fascinating! Two launches, one Falcon heavy with the BA-330, and one Falcon 9 with the Orion and booster module. Dock all three in orbit and away you go. Teamwork, it's a good thing!

That Olympus is HUGE!!! Rotate it on it's central axis at only 4 RPM and you'll have Lunar normal gravity. Too bad the Russians are the only ones with heavy lifter on the drawing boards able to get it to orbit.

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#12 DocM

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 01:01 PM

Wow.. BA-2100 down to 65 mT?

Hmmmmm....

Thanks Boris. Pretty nice.
I'm curious about its power generation capabilities; are they going to be mission specific, for example? The renderings show what appears to be a minimum setup, just enough to power the module itself.

I would imagine that depends on what you're powering. IIRC they're using LED illumination, which cuts a lot off the load.
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#13 Dewtey

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 01:14 PM

Those solar panels looks smallish, in relation to craft they're attached to... Small, that is, until you remember that the craft in question is nearly a hundred feet long, and so are the panels. They'll generate more than enough juice, even in the asteroid belt. My estimate is nearly 12 KW. (roughly 64 square meters of PhotoVoltaics, at 180 watts/sq.M)

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#14 DocM

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:13 PM

And IIRC the lighting will be low-draw LED

Bigelow's factory is progressing nicely - a new bunch of images were posted June 6, 2011

A 180,000 sq-ft building that's 700 feet long.

http://www.bigelowae...com/prosper.php

Edited by DocM, 08 June 2011 - 07:16 PM.

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#15 Boris

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 09:52 PM

Cosmic Landlord

This article has a bunch of inaccuracies but is an overall informative article.

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#16 Boris

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:01 PM

And IIRC the lighting will be low-draw LED


Here's a chart that shows a lumens to wattage comparison of LED vs Incandescent vs CFL. The power savings are tremendous & IIRC they put out nearly zero heat reducing the need for a station module to shed excess heat.

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#17 Boris

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 10:28 AM

Bigelow is normally pretty quiet & plays their cards pretty close, but they do release a little info here & there.
Here are a pix I've picked up over the years.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Bigelow Space Station Module.jpg
  • Moon Cruiser.jpg
  • Nautilus Simulator.jpg

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#18 Dewtey

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 10:38 AM

:acool::thanks2:

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#19 Boris

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 03:47 PM

A few more.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Bigelow Complex.jpg
  • EML-1 Station.JPG
  • Bigelow Mobile Moon Base.jpg

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#20 Boris

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 07:46 PM

http://www.8newsnow....&clipId=5962898

LAS VEGAS -- Anyone who struggled to put together model airplanes as a youngster might relate to this story. It's about some grown up kids who are not only making a good living by gluing together highly detailed models but are also helping to clear the way for humans to start living in outer space.

This isn't the first time some of the workers at Bigelow Aerospace have glued together realistic models of spaceships and futuristic craft. Their special effects work were the highlights for several blockbuster movies. What they're doing now is not sci-fi by any means, it's the real deal.

Edited by Boris, 20 June 2011 - 07:47 PM.

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#21 Dewtey

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 08:12 PM

I'm having trouble with the idea that the Moon Base will be assembled in space, then flown to the Moon, then landed. Talk about trusting your thrusters!

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#22 DocM

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 11:11 PM

They're hypergolic and probably pressure driven, so they should be very reliable. That, and if they use several thrusters/module redundeancy should cover malfunctioning units like in Dragon's LES/landing system.

Their methodology is really not much different than the Lockheed Martin Dual-Thrust Axis Lander from a few years back but on a larger scale.

Page 6

PDF....

Edited by DocM, 20 June 2011 - 11:48 PM.

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#23 Dewtey

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:03 AM

All those thrusters firing simultaneously and in unison, gives a guy the shivers. Command and control being what it is these days makes that actually doable.

I do like the 'concept 3' version of the lander. I'd call it a Lunar Taxi, because it can be refueled in 0g and reused time and again. Launch a Dragon or Orion, transfer the crew and supplies in earth orbit, go to the moon and back, transfer crew and such back to the earth landing vehicle. Do it again and again. Better still, since it uses processed water, it can be fully refueled on the moon, provided we actually find the Ice. Might even be able to send a 'water buffalo' with enough for several trips.

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#24 Boris

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:03 PM

There's a rather interesting entry on this website.

Date-???
Sundancer
Falcon IX
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA
inflatable space station module

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#25 DocM

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 10:31 PM

From SpaceX's launch manifest -

Bigelow Aerospace 2014 Falcon 9 Cape Canaveral

F9 can only handle Sundancer (8.5 to 9.0 MT), but Falcon Heavy could easily handle a BA-330 (-23 MT) even without fuel cross-flow, with margin to spare. With it something like a (theoretical) BA-1200ish should work. Something like that would have more habitable volume than ISS.

Edited by DocM, 08 July 2011 - 10:49 PM.

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