It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Inflatable Space Station Launched By Private Company

page: 1
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 02:25 PM
link   
news.bbc.co.uk...

This is amazing. I wonder why NASA scrubbed the plans so early? The basic idea is an inflatable space station, that can be sent into space at a relatively small size, then filled with compressed air once in orbit.


An inflatable spacecraft that could form the basis of a future space hotel has blasted into space.

The Genesis craft has been built by commercial company Bigelow Aerospace, set up by hotel tycoon Robert Bigelow.

The folded experimental module launched from Siberia on a converted Russian intercontinental ballistic missile.


And a much better use of an ICBM in my oppinion.




posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 02:28 PM
link   
I honestly wouldnt trust anything inflatable in space!, but good find



posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 02:47 PM
link   
Good find. I usually manage to keep abreast of developments in Space. I don't know how I missed this story but it is probably because it got lost in all of the news about the current N.A.S.A. space shuttle mission. Nevertheless, this is great news and it brings us all one step closer to living and working in space.

An inflatable space station is certainly not an entirely new or novel concept. And, I can understand why some would consider an "inflatable" as being more dangerous -- less safe -- than a solid walled space station. Actually, the risks are about he same and, maybe, the inflatable is a bit safer. The perceived danger, I would think, is that micro meteorites will pierce the inflateable and, somehow, be stopped by a solid walled space station. When you consider the speeds of micro-meteors, you would realize that both types of materials are vulnerable. With an inflatable hull, however, gelatinous materials can be used to slow micrometeors as well as to automatically plug and seal the leak. Of course, the same systems exist on the hard shells currently used but to the same effect. When both systems are compared, they would be essentially the same except for the factor of putting the unit into space.

An inflatable takes up less space, weighs less and is more cost effiecient and safer in that it would minimise construction times and the inherent dangers of spacewalks. I salute Mr. Bigelow for his novel enterprising nature. He indeed has an eye for the future.



posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 02:48 PM
link   

Originally posted by PanzerDiv
I honestly wouldnt trust anything inflatable in space!, but good find


That was my first thought as well, but then I read this from the BBC story:



It is built around a rigid central core and two solid bulk.s. The inflatable walls are composed of a range of materials including Kevlar, often used in bullet-proof vests, and a fibrous textile called Vectran.

The craft is strengthened to resist collisions with space debris
The walls are designed to be airtight and tough, to withstand the impact of space debris and small meteorites.

On a full-scale module, each wall would be 40cm (16 inches) thick.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Launch for inflatable spacecraft


I doubt even the space shuttle has 16 inches thick walls. Is a 1 inch wall of metal any safer?



posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 03:22 PM
link   
Nice find Raso, very interesting article.

Like other posters I snickered at the thought of an inflatable space station but after reading the article I must admit that if the kevlar/vectran material is as durable as they say I'd feel fairly confident in giving the space hotel a go...as long as they clean out all the roaches, scorpions, ants and whatever other creepy crawlers they plan on sending up in that thing.

I think most posters here understand what happens in the movies when you put insects in space...nothing good. Roaches mutated by massive amounts of solar raditation knitting tea pot cozy's of total destruction...hang on I'm gonna go call my agent.

I certainly wouldn't underestimate Robert Bigelow. He's a smart guy and I like the fact that he actually acquired the patents to the technology after NASA dropped the project.

This could indeed be one of those things that makes the future possible.

Outside of hotels private contracters could make very good use of inflatable/connectable modules. Inflatable modules (I will assume for the sake of argument that the materials will only get stronger and better) would make a very good place to house a crew building either a more permanent space station or thinking even bigger it could lead to an affordable sort of orbital ship yard where much bigger and different ships could be built for inter-system and then hopefully extra-system exploration.

I don't know how it would work or if it would be cost effecient under the current economic model but if the inexpensive modules are in place and you've got a crew going back and forth how expensive would it be to actually get materials up there to build a massive ship?

I've probably read to much heinlein as a kid and I'm certainly no scientist but it's just seems like a very small but very exciting step to our possible future as a species.

IMO of course and any big brains want to tell me if this is completely out of the question?

Again good find.

Spiderj



posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 03:50 PM
link   
~~

actually i thought that 'inflatables' were one option for the Mars colony expedition...

the Bigelow idea may very well be underwitten by NASA
who is busily cutting costs, perhaps by aligning with Bigelow,
to test out these ideas with a venture capitalist....
thus creating the aura that US Businesses are Space-Bound,
and saving some launch costs as well (using Bigelow to get discount
launchers from Russia...something that NASA coudn't swing)

An 'inflatable' ground based habitat would probably work for either
the Moon or even Mars...
but i think an inflatable would not work as a orbiting habitat without some
major retrofitting at mega $$$

btw, its on Yahoo news among others, after all- - its unique & a mind magnet



posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 04:00 PM
link   

Originally posted by St Udio
the Bigelow idea may very well be underwitten by NASA
who is busily cutting costs, perhaps by aligning with Bigelow,
to test out these ideas with a venture capitalist....
thus creating the aura that US Businesses are Space-Bound,
and saving some launch costs as well (using Bigelow to get discount
launchers from Russia...something that NASA coudn't swing)


That's a really good point. Who knows, but it certainly makes sense for NASA to get in bed with private industry. I always thought they could sell shuttle add space for tens of millions of dollars. I would think you could dye those tiles red. What would Coca-cola pay to have the shuttle bay doors turned into a giant coke can? Lots and lots I would assume.

I believe the original NASA project regarding the inflatable materials was more geared toward habitation on the moon Studio...just an FYI but I could be wrong as usual.

Spiderj



posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 04:21 PM
link   
Though I'm totally excited about this idea, I'm also kind of bummed at the fact that when you go to the Bigelow Aerospace website, there is no mention of their recent launch, nor any coverage of ongoing mission control activity. I think that Scaled Composites did a much better job of creating a site and experience for the casual user to "look over their shoulder."

Hopefully Bigelow will catch up, but until then, all we get to hear about this is the news from CNN, Yahoo, et. al. and maybe a PR here and there from Bigelow.

I WANT A WEBCAM DAMMIT!



posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 04:58 PM
link   
One thing that I'm looking foreward to is the possible reusability of these structures. Imagine a moon base that is collapsable, and movable. Not only that, but if we were able to use collapsable bases for long term mining opperations. I know I'm getting a. of myself, but the possabilities are endless.



posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 05:17 PM
link   
en.rian.ru...
www.itar-tass.com...
news.yahoo.com...
space.com...
edition.cnn.com...
www.msnbc.msn.com...

some more links to this story from around the web.

Personally I find this a great step forward for mankind.
now hopefully this company and the one of richard branson ( virgin galactic)
can make some arangements and we have a people carrier for the space hotel to be build within 5 years time of now.



posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 06:33 PM
link   
FINALLY! I've been waiting for this launch for quite a while now. It's good to hear that it's now up there. BTW It doesn't matter how thick the walls are, because if a meteorite hits it, it will cut through any thickness of metal(that we can feasibly launch into orbit) like a hot knife through butter. Having self healing textiles incorporated into the structure makes a lot of sense.

[edit on 12-7-2006 by sardion2000]


GSA

posted on Jul, 16 2006 @ 08:24 PM
link   
Thats not actually true though is it? If the projectile has infinite energy then it could defeat any and all armor, but it doesnt as the laws of physics still applies.

Did you see how thick the final versions walls will be? Thats going to take some getting through, and if its a weave and not a solid then it will have even better projectile stopping power as a solid will get brittle at low / high temps, were as a weave will have better conductivity properties as it will have a higher surface area.

One thing i think would be good is to develope those skins that solidify under electrical stimulas, have a double skinned ship and fill the cavity with that. When its puntured just turn on the power and hey presto healed.

(Just like on tommorows world in the early 1980's!)



posted on Jul, 16 2006 @ 08:28 PM
link   


Thats not actually true though is it? If the projectile has infinite energy then it could defeat any and all armor, but it doesnt as the laws of physics still applies.


This is what I said...




BTW It doesn't matter how thick the walls are, because if a meteorite hits it, it will cut through any thickness of metal(that we can feasibly launch into orbit) like a hot knife through butter.


Note the bolded (That we can feasibly launch into orbit). Textiles weight to strength ratio is much more attractive if you use things like Mylar and Kevlar.

The meteorites up there that are a threat now, would require many meters of shielding in order to protect the crew inside reliably. The best protection is detection and evasion.

[edit on 16-7-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 11:35 AM
link   
The best protection would be a self sealing skin/armor with human repairs made to beef it up afterwards. Cannot really stop something from slamming through and killing someone but the overall habitat would be safe if it is self sealing so it does not colapse on impacts. I do not think we can really prevent puncture and damage but you can defray the overall damage by having it self seal.



posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 02:00 PM
link   
Hmmm, will the first space hotels have windows though or will they just be a place to stay to experience being in space with zero gravity? I'm asking because I don't see any windows in those pics of them. Lol, I know this is a kind of strange and silly question but I tell ya I definetly wouldn't spend millions or even thousands to stay in a hotel just to experience zero gravity and eat food that tastes like cardboard!
They'll also need to have space flight tours included for it to be completely worth while I think.



posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 07:53 PM
link   
kudos to Bigellow, He's been working hard on his space hotel dream...and this is his first real achievement.



Originally posted by Elimaku
I don't see any windows in those pics of them.


Why put windows on it, its just a experimental space room, people will never go in it...Its more of a proof of technology space station.



spiderj
I always thought they could sell shuttle add space for tens of millions of dollars. I would think you could dye those tiles red. What would Coca-cola pay to have the shuttle bay doors turned into a giant coke can? Lots and lots I would assume.

then may I say...Thank god your not in charge.
I want it looking good and clean...Not like a stock car.




posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 08:36 PM
link   


then may I say...Thank god your not in charge.


Everyone's a critic
Yeesh.

I love the picture you created. I have absolutely no problem with the shuttle looking exactly as you photo-shopped it.

Heck thats the most american looking shuttle I've ever seen. Though the entire bay doors were supposed to look like a coca-cola bottle.

Again, I just love that shuttle especially the exxon booster.

Nicely done.


Spiderj

This post has been paid for by Hot Dog on a Stick.



posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 10:44 PM
link   
Actually, I found that pic on the web awhile back, so I cant take credit for making it. But I figured that it shows how you want the shuttle to look.

And hope nothing like it ever becomes reality.

The private sector doesn't need to team up with Nasa, all that would do is slow the whole process down. Private companies worry about money...and time is money. Nasa gets there fat check from the gov every year and doesn't worry about time as much as a small company would.

Virgin Galactic is planning on offering passenger flights into space in 2008.
Space Dev is shooting for 2008 as well, and orbital in 09'.
and Bigelow is of course another one, who doesn't need to team up with Nasa in order to survive in the business.

Also, Bigelow isn't the only company to pick up where Nasa left off. Space Dev is planning on using the X-38 as there primary vehicle for space transportation.



And here’s 2 Bigelow stations connected together...Robert Bigelow is planning on making is hotel this way...by connecting them together he can expand his station overtime...its dubbed CSS SKYWALKER.




posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 11:05 PM
link   
Here is a pic of it fully inflated in orbit.




posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 12:14 AM
link   
I don't think you're seeing my vision, both bay doors would look like a giant coke can. Make fun if you want but that's great advertising and pricey real estate.

If my task was to bring extra revenue into NASA I would certainly go that way.

Whoever does it first others would surely follow.

I know you take your technology seriously, as do I, just not as seriously.

Nice find on the bigelow connected stations by the way.

And thanks for the orbit pic sardion.

Spiderj

Where did you find the mcdonalds shuttle pic M?



new topics

top topics



 
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join