Author Topic: Bigelow and ULA Announce Agreement to Place a B330 Hab in Low Lunar Orbit  (Read 15001 times)

Offline Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3479
  • California
  • Liked: 2727
  • Likes Given: 1729
This is neat, but LLO seems like an odd place to put a station, since A) LLO's tend to be unstable and B) Orion is not capable of getting there and back.

Could an refilled ACES stage in LEO allow Orion to do this? So basically two Vulcan launches (Orion on one of them). Is that possible?

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8277
  • UK
  • Liked: 1341
  • Likes Given: 168
Could we get a kilo of whatever ULA/Bigelow are smoking?

Doesn’t Bigelow have the ear of the current President though.

Isn’t this the kind of private imitative that the administration is likely to get behind.

I would not spend too much time thinking about Bigelow.  It is the hobby of a rich guy with no aerospace experience.  Employee turnover is very high.

Just because it isn’t coming from Elon Musk suddenly the goalposts move. Interesting.
« Last Edit: 10/17/2017 07:37 PM by Star One »

Offline jak Kennedy

  • Member
  • Posts: 90
  • Liked: 14
  • Likes Given: 30
Some quotes from Mr Bigelow:

Quote
Here’s how a Las Vegas millionaire plans to build an orbiting space station for the moon
By Christian Davenport
October 17 at 2:21 PM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/10/17/heres-how-a-las-vegas-millionaire-plans-to-build-an-orbiting-space-station-for-the-moon/

From the link
"While the ULA would launch the B330, Musk’s SpaceX could resupply it while in Earth orbit, Bigelow said."  So more than 3 launches in total?
« Last Edit: 10/17/2017 07:54 PM by jak Kennedy »

Online Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3465
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 2210
  • Likes Given: 2740
An article on The Verge about this:

Bigelow Aerospace wants to put an inflatable space habitat in orbit around the Moon - The Verge

I think it's good timing for this announcement since V.P. Pence gave NASA a 45-day challenge to define a return-to-Moon plan. This proposal does support it, although obviously separate from the Deep Space Gateway (DSG) effort.

Bigelow has been very consistent with his dependency on "Old Space" like ULA, which may mean that he thinks most of the money to support his proposals will come from the U.S. Government. If that is the case, sometimes you just have to go where the money is, not necessarily where the market is.

Overall though, Bigelow is doing the same that Musk has done for years, which is reminding people that they exist and that they have "Big Plans" that could move humans out into space.

We'll see what traction this gets...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online nacnud

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2025
  • Liked: 227
  • Likes Given: 145
"While the ULA would launch the B330, Musk’s SpaceX could resupply it while in Earth orbit, Bigelow said."  So more than 3 launches in total?

Well if is supposed to be in LEO for a year and is going to be crewed for at least some of that time. I suppose SpaceX would provide crew and supplies.


Online Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8768
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 5455
  • Likes Given: 3611
An article on The Verge about this:

Bigelow Aerospace wants to put an inflatable space habitat in orbit around the Moon - The Verge

I think it's good timing for this announcement since V.P. Pence gave NASA a 45-day challenge to define a return-to-Moon plan. This proposal does support it, although obviously separate from the Deep Space Gateway (DSG) effort.

Bigelow has been very consistent with his dependency on "Old Space" like ULA, which may mean that he thinks most of the money to support his proposals will come from the U.S. Government. If that is the case, sometimes you just have to go where the money is, not necessarily where the market is.

Overall though, Bigelow is doing the same that Musk has done for years, which is reminding people that they exist and that they have "Big Plans" that could move humans out into space.

Except Musk has launched a lot more stuff though. And SpaceX is claimed to be cash flow positive at least if not actually quite profitable (I think the latter, some may not agree)
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline brickmack

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 281
  • USA
  • Liked: 81
  • Likes Given: 9
Could an refilled ACES stage in LEO allow Orion to do this? So basically two Vulcan launches (Orion on one of them). Is that possible?

Yes. See my performance analysis here from a month ago. I have a revised version in progress that looks a bit better (to most orbits) and goes a bit more in depth, but from these numbers, ACES can carry ~35 tons to LLO direct. Orion (underpowered as it is) then has sufficient performance for rendezvous and TEI after its already in LLO. Not an architecture I'm terribly fond of (reliance on expendable and NASA-owned hardware), but it is technically feasible

Offline butters

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1672
  • Liked: 310
  • Likes Given: 71
So this is being pitched as an alternative to the Deep Space Gateway?

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4510
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 3053
  • Likes Given: 1020
So this is being pitched as an alternative to the Deep Space Gateway?

Maybe not explicitly but it’s hard to imagine doing both! I think a key point is one of the quotes in the Washington Post article: this proposal can probably be done quicker than anything else similar (as Bigelow is more nature in its tech & development). So if the Trump administration is looking for something comparatively quick & inexpensive then this may fit the bill.
« Last Edit: 10/17/2017 09:02 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline spacenut

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2161
  • East Alabama
  • Liked: 318
  • Likes Given: 196
With a larger or longer fairing, couldn't a Falcon Heavy launch it directly to the moon? 

No business case to go to Mars by SpaceX either. 

With the 330 habitat module, ACES, say an ACES lander, an ACES tanker, and other modules, this would make returning to the moon more permanent. 
« Last Edit: 10/17/2017 09:19 PM by spacenut »

Offline Darkseraph

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 483
  • Liked: 183
  • Likes Given: 90
With a larger or longer fairing, couldn't a Falcon Heavy launch it directly to the moon?

Possibly, but the development of larger fairings is not free and Bigelow would ultimately have to pay to develop, test and manufacture a new fairing type for Falcon Heavy.
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Offline Kansan52

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 874
  • Hutchinson, KS
  • Liked: 263
  • Likes Given: 311
Aren't Bigelow's to free flyers still operating in orbit?

Never mind. They are still there but reported as 'Retired'.
« Last Edit: 10/17/2017 09:41 PM by Kansan52 »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12860
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3610
  • Likes Given: 617
“The B330 would launch to Low Earth Orbit on a Vulcan 562 configuration rocket, the only commercial launch vehicle in development today with sufficient performance and a large enough payload fairing to carry the habitat.”

This is just blatantly false.
Vulcan fairing will be 5.4 meters diameter.  Falcon fairing is 5.2 meters diameter. NGL fairing will be 5.25 meters diameter.  New Glenn fairing was to be 5.1 meters diameter for the two-stage version, but that was just recently changed to 7 meters.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/17/2017 10:04 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline meberbs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1388
  • Liked: 1257
  • Likes Given: 318
“The B330 would launch to Low Earth Orbit on a Vulcan 562 configuration rocket, the only commercial launch vehicle in development today with sufficient performance and a large enough payload fairing to carry the habitat.”

This is just blatantly false.
Vulcan fairing will be 5.4 meters diameter.  Falcon fairing is 5.2 meters diameter. NGL fairing will be 5.25 meters diameter.  New Glenn fairing was to be 5.1 meters diameter for the two-stage version, but that was just recently changed to 7 meters.

 - Ed Kyle
The recent change was the removal of the smaller fairing option, not the addition of a larger fairing. The fairing sizes and number of stages were never correlated, and either way, it would still count as in development.

Also, BFR.

Online Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8768
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 5455
  • Likes Given: 3611
could also be height...
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline spacenut

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2161
  • East Alabama
  • Liked: 318
  • Likes Given: 196
Seems like L1 or L2 would be better and more stable for lunar excursions.  Just need a reusable lander that could be refueled at the module for return trip. 

Online GWH

could also be height...

The internal length of Atlas V 5m long fairing is 16.5 meters, New Glenn's scales to about 21m externally.

As for mass Wikipedia (wish there were a better source) lists the B330 between 20,000 and 25,000 kg.  I'd assume fully outfitted with supplies would be more, putting it out of range for TLI of Falcon Heavy expendable (if it could fit) and estimates for New Glenn 3 stage (see edkyle99's thread in other US launchers). 

ACES meanwhile would allow for the dV for both TLI and LLO injection.
« Last Edit: 10/17/2017 10:53 PM by GWH »

Offline punder

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
  • Liked: 332
  • Likes Given: 202
Still don't understand why Bigelow sized his product right out of the launch market, except for ULA.

Oh, I get it... bennies from ULA if he does so!!

Well, good luck with that.   :D

Online GWH

Still don't understand why Bigelow sized his product right out of the launch market, except for ULA.

Oh, I get it... bennies from ULA if he does so!!

Well, good luck with that.   :D

Maybe, just maybe it was sized to function as a single module free floating space station, and those requirement drove it to require one specific launcher.  And maybe, when one looks at the relationship between the station cost, launch cost, or using separate launches and multiple modules they found out that the price difference between different launchers was insignificant?  Maybe...

Tags: