Author Topic: Bigelow and ULA Announce Agreement to Place a B330 Hab in Low Lunar Orbit  (Read 14989 times)

Offline brickmack

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 281
  • USA
  • Liked: 81
  • Likes Given: 9
The sideways port is noted as an airlock hatch in drawings on Bigelows website. I do hope they have plans for some sort of node module though, either internally-built or contracted out. A station with only 2 ports isn't very useful

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3464
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 2210
  • Likes Given: 2740
My observation though is that it boils down to whether a company is willing to risk their own money to create a new market.

But what point does it serve anyone trying to maintain this artificial division in the industry.

It's not an artificial division, it's just a way to evaluate what's actually going on. This is especially important when partnerships are involved, since everyone needs to understand what the motivations are for each of the partners.

With regards to this proposal, it might equate to how much money ULA would require to move up the Vulcan and ACES availability - maybe none, or maybe a lot.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2485
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2385
  • Likes Given: 1746

But what point does it serve anyone trying to maintain this artificial division in the industry.
(fan)
It's about motivations. OldSpace is motivated by profit first and vision second. NewSpace... isn't.  So it's a valid distinction.
Issues with this.

They're both suckling on the govt teat ... because access to space is a national imperative ... one with more history/pork, the other with disruption and nerve. Practice of professionalism is different, one cleaves to relentless, proven optimality ... while the other turns things on its ear for a reason and attempts to survive the consequences. Motivation also different, one pursues the national imperative narrowly within industry scope, the other uses such (and others) to leverage its own agenda. Each find the other's differences unacceptable.

Quote
(mod)
...but not one that we should argue about interminably in this thread which should stay narrowly focused.
ULA's principal rival uses innovation as a effective marketing tool as they define innovation.

Remarks in this thread attempt to compare the two and struggle with the "apples to apples" vs "apples to oranges". Which is why I outlined above in this post what the "apples"/"oranges" distinction comes from, without assigning a form of "goodness"/"badness".

Quote
(fan)
Also, and I accept this could be my Brit outlook here, I find it distasteful to be announcing a project that uses someone else's money without that someone else agreeing to it first!

Slideware (unfunded) spacecraft/missions/aircraft/launchers etc are pretty routine in the MIC, and usually are presented to make the presenting companies look good and possibly stir up interest so people will agitate for funding.  LockMart just did it with their Mars vision.  Both OldSpace and NewSpace do this... but OldSpace usually wants government funding and NewSpace... doesn't always. Sometimes it wants VC funding.
They both want money and attention.

They both compete for mindshare and political influence. However "Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance".

Offline Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2485
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2385
  • Likes Given: 1746
A plan that attempts to offend no one... There really isn't a clear rational for this thing.
Nope. A challenge without a confrontation.

Quote
1. Not sure a propellant depot should be Manned.
True.

Likewise a repair scaffold, a rendezvous/assembly point, a ORU changeout facility, and many more. And we have these lovely things called teleoperated robotic arms ...

Quote
2. Placing it in LLO does not afford much chance for anything commercial to use it at this moment. Nor is it on the path for Orion to reach(i.e. attempting not to compete with the DSG).
For current vehicles yes.

Here's what you'd need: Orion service module propellant increase, SLS Block 2 (or distributed launch). For commercial Vulcan/ACES or FH/Dragon with additional capabilities done various ways. Basically a few billion either way.

Quote
BFR if it ever did lunar would likely be used for a landing and if it did stop off in LLO it is not clear what  the BA330 could offer to Space X.
BFS is its own hab.

Quote
I think Bigleow needs to work more with Space X and Blue to find products that can be used  by more companies.
They are antagonistic at the moment. (Was amusing to see in the video Dragon outfitting the hab.)

Quote
3. It  never made much sense for Biglow to design his payload so that only a ULA rocket could lift it. A meter smaller isn't going to make that much difference. I know he thinks it is the best way to get some funding from the government by hitching his wagon to a large well connected aerospace company or SLS but so far it has done little.
Both want to be "hamburger helper" to govt HSF missions. Not unlike SX and CRS/CC.

Quote
4. Equipping\outfitting in LEO is nice and this step does offer a place for commercial.
It builds up a cislunar economy, that starts first with provisioning in LEO.

If ACES can act as a cislunar tug, perhaps it can also do so in reverse.

Quote
Honestly, this thing needs to replace the DSG or be a part of it to have any purpose.
But the DSG needs little/no hab. And you don't need a hab for DSG assembly.

Ergo, this proposal does not seem to be genuine as a "DSG precursor".

Portraying it as such does not seem legitimate.

Offline A_M_Swallow

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8184
  • South coast of England
  • Liked: 259
  • Likes Given: 107
None of this sounds "Old Space" to me.  "Old Space" was Lockheed Martin flying out the Titan IV inventory for the U.S. Air Force at half-a-billion per, etc..  "Old Space" was already history ten years ago.

There is no definitive description for "New Space" and "Old Space", so I won't be surprised by disagreements.

My observation though is that it boils down to whether a company is willing to risk their own money to create a new market.

SpaceX obviously fits this mold because of their efforts to drive down costs with reusable rockets, even though there is not an existing market for reusable rockets and the vastly more launches they enable. But Musk is hoping to create new demand for lower cost reusable launchers that would not have been possible with expendable rockets.

ULA, which is owned by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, is reacting to the situation at hand caused by RD-180 political issues, the high cost of Delta IV, and SpaceX becoming a competitor for their core customer. Vulcan is no doubt a good design for an expendable rocket, but it's not apparent that it creates any new markets.

This announcement between ULA and Bigelow is great marketing, but it's not evidence that ULA is "New Space", even though I would consider Bigelow a "New Space" company (Bigelow is spending his own money to create a new capability that does not yet exist - i.e. market risk).

My $0.02

ULA's new markets

Heavy push. By refuelling ACES in LEO much heavier objects can be sent to the Moon and Mars.

Heavy lander. ACES with XEUS kit (from Masten Space) can land 12 tonne on the Moon. Most robots weigh less than that.

Heavy reusable ascent stage. By refuelling in LLO an ACES with XEUS kit can land and later ascend 25 tonne. This is all man rated. A depot with a habitat can refuel and transfer both cargo and astronauts.

Offline DreamyPickle

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Home
  • Liked: 62
  • Likes Given: 15
The sideways port is noted as an airlock hatch in drawings on Bigelows website. I do hope they have plans for some sort of node module though, either internally-built or contracted out. A station with only 2 ports isn't very useful
Thanks, that website has a lot of good info. I remember Bigelow having a website that was a relic of the 90s.

Having two ports and an airlock would make sense for a single-module station but not for a modular one. Maybe this points to a more limited use-case for the initial B330.

In theory you could string several B330s in a long line but you'd have too many airlocks and a shortage of docking ports. You could work around the latter if you gave up on the practice of always having lifeboat capsules for all passengers.

The Mir core node could also be used as an airlock and that design is very flexible. Ideally a modular inflatable would be designed so that the backsides of multiple modules could dock to a 6-way node on the front, tilted at a 45 degree angle so that they don't obstruct the solar panels. To save costs unused ports on side-modules could be skipped.

Offline brickmack

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 281
  • USA
  • Liked: 81
  • Likes Given: 9
Theres probably no reason each B330 has to have its own airlock. And the structural features necessary for an airlock (basically a cylinder with a circular hole cut in the side, and a seal) should be easily applicable to radial docking ports.

Offline A_M_Swallow

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8184
  • South coast of England
  • Liked: 259
  • Likes Given: 107
A visiting vehicle docking module could be useful. Basically a cube with 4 International Docking System docking ports. One port connects to the B330 and two to the visiting vehicles. The fourth could connect to a second B330, a second cube or a third visiting vehicle as required.

A facility for the cube to accept and deliver electrical power, communications, air and other consumables would also be useful.

Offline Norm38

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1009
  • Liked: 390
  • Likes Given: 524
^^^ Essentially an ISS node module, right?  Just with 4 ports instead of 6? And maybe with the docking adaptors built in, instead of being detachable modules.

Offline A_M_Swallow

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8184
  • South coast of England
  • Liked: 259
  • Likes Given: 107
^^^ Essentially an ISS node module, right?  Just with 4 ports instead of 6? And maybe with the docking adaptors built in, instead of being detachable modules.

An ISS node module sounds like a good starting point for a docking module. The NASA Docking System ports, which form part of the docking adaptors, would be built in.

Both 4 or 6 ports would work. However if 6 ports are provided making at least 2 Common Berthing Modules would allow wider items, such as science racks, to be delivered. B330 to docking module would also have to be a Common Berthing Module. This is a system level decision that needs making early.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 750
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 155
  • Likes Given: 62
Again I want to put forward one of my idea's.
IDS is to small in my opinion for a permanent connection between different segments of a large space station or vehicle. The CBM is the perfect size for this. Nasa should request the development of integration of the IDA soft docking mechanism onto the CBM. They sould do this ASAP, because it releaves ISS crew time from capturing the VV's with the robot arm.
I'm sorry, but I've not seen a usefull module layout from Bigellow jet. A lot of volume is nice, but it's utility that counts. In my opinion Bigellow should be awarded a contract to develop a US LAB replacement for ISS 2 (live extension from 2025-2035). This module should only inflate radial (diameter) from ~4.5 to ~7m. I think the rack-frame structure of the ISS modules should be reused. In launch configuration it's exactly the same. On orbit after inflation of the module, the ISPR racks are moved to the back of the frames. Random Acces Frames are mounted in front of the ISPR's. Crew Quarters and the Lavatory could occupy both the space of both a ISPR & RAF. During the day the crew quarters could be folded so the RAF space is available to move the RAF frames around.
During launch the RAF's could be used to mount payloads in the center volume.
In space the volume in the corners between the ISPR & RAF's could be used to to stow stuff. with nets and 0G racks this can be organised. The crew quarters are also useful to reach this stowage area.
Edit: I've changed the image to indicate were all ducts and cables are located. This reduces the stowage area.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2017 02:31 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4238
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 220
^^^ Essentially an ISS node module, right?  Just with 4 ports instead of 6? And maybe with the docking adaptors built in, instead of being detachable modules.

An ISS node module sounds like a good starting point for a docking module. The NASA Docking System ports, which form part of the docking adaptors, would be built in.

Both 4 or 6 ports would work. However if 6 ports are provided making at least 2 Common Berthing Modules would allow wider items, such as science racks, to be delivered. B330 to docking module would also have to be a Common Berthing Module. This is a system level decision that needs making early.

Agreed a CBM would definitely be high up on the nice to have list.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2017 04:44 PM by Patchouli »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3200
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1578
  • Likes Given: 144
^^^ Essentially an ISS node module, right?  Just with 4 ports instead of 6? And maybe with the docking adaptors built in, instead of being detachable modules.

An ISS node module sounds like a good starting point for a docking module. The NASA Docking System ports, which form part of the docking adaptors, would be built in.

Both 4 or 6 ports would work. However if 6 ports are provided making at least 2 Common Berthing Modules would allow wider items, such as science racks, to be delivered. B330 to docking module would also have to be a Common Berthing Module. This is a system level decision that needs making early.

Agreed a CBM would definitely be high up on the nice to have list.
This discussion on CBM vs IDS was discussed in detail on Bigelow threads several years ago.
The key was that there is a adapter design in existence that goes from CBM to IDS.

Bigelow decision was to use IDS so the modules could dock without help.

On a larger station CBM would be better. The real question becomes is there a CBM like interface underneath the IDS device (pure speculation unless someone out there has real data on one way or the other). Such that leaving off the IDS reveals a CBM like interface.

Offline Chasm

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 208
  • Liked: 83
  • Likes Given: 0
In the video B330 had dissimilar adapters. CBM aft and IDS in the front.
I guess we'll have wait to find out what the real one will use and if there will be different versions. :)

Adding a node definitely makes sense. OTOH you can't stick too much on the sides and then drive the whole thing to the moon.

Online nacnud

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2025
  • Liked: 227
  • Likes Given: 145
Rewatching the video I don't think there is a CMB on the rear, at least not one that can be used as a way to transfer racks. It looks like a thrust structure surrounding an IDS, with another IDS up front.

Tags: