The inflatable room will be launched by SpaceX who after the payload has been sent will again try to land their Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform
, the Inflatable Room will be attached to the ISS for 2 years and will be an experiment for a livable habitat for a future Mars mission.
Meanwhile, the launch is a huge moment for Bigelow Aerospace, the project of real estate billionaire Robert Bigelow. The company has launched
prototype expandable habitats before, but none have been occupied by humans.
This 1,400kg contraption, once attached and inflated in about a month's time, will be visited periodically by ISS personnel. Made of many layers of
fabric and covered with a flexible Kevlar-like material, the Beam will be tested to see how well it stands up to fluctuating temperatures and high
levels of radiation. www.bbc.co.uk...
I wish them luck , maybe a manned Mars mission in my lifetime is a possibility.
The advantages are many, lighter construction, smaller package at lift off and in space of course just like a car tyre on earth the pressure will
make these thing's extremely rigid, rock hard even, modern cellular design mean's they will likely be able to cope with punctures by micro meteors etc
very well indeed and a simple patching system or even self sealing method will protect the internal atmosphere, move over hard metallic shielding and
bring out the small electromagnetic shielding technology to deflect radiation and you have a marriage of perfect symmetry.
There were plan's for inflatable habitat's even as far back as the 60's including a proposed wheel space station which would simulate gravity by
spinning, it was to be made from multiple inflatable and some hard sections combined to make the structure.
Perfect choice and if you think on the damage a micro meteor can do to a solid structure and how relatively small structural damage it would do by
simply passing through the inflatable structure it is even more interesting, less impact energy is transmitted to the structure but of course the
downside is that whatever is inside has equally less protection and that meteor could impact an object inside the structure and cause and explostion
or flash fire inside it instead of knocking off a few tiles but it is still a potential technology and of course vulnerable equipment and even
personell can have safe zone's while a large inflatable hydroponic's section could see this make growing there own food for prolonged period's in
space even more viable.
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