Author Topic: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?  (Read 2810 times)

Offline sanman

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There was a tweet from Bigelow Aerospace a couple of months back, which indicated that they've got plans for much bigger habs in the future, once larger rocket sizes become available:

https://twitter.com/bigelowspace/status/938832873225777152




So Bigelow's BA-2100 Olympus (shown in middle) is labeled as a 2nd-generation model, while 3rd-generation hab is shown at 5000m3 and requiring 10m-diameter fairing. What would a 3rd-generation hab's own actual diameter then work out to be?


Falcon Heavy only has a fairing diameter of ~5m, which limits it to carrying the BA-330 modules.
If New Glenn has a fairing diameter of 7m, then that seems to just fall below the BA-2100's requirement.
Meanwhile, BFR is supposed to have a 9m diameter, which could potentially accommodate BA-2100 but not any planned 3rd-generation. So will they have to wait for New Armstrong to field their 3rd-generation?





Given the slight mismatch relative to aforementioned fairing sizes, should Bigelow consider re-engineering their habs for better fairing fit?

Is there any need for sizes bigger than 5000m3? At that point, should they consider some other geometry (eg. toroidal), or is that pill-shape the most useful/efficient?
« Last Edit: 02/10/2018 10:37 PM by sanman »

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Can They Go?
« Reply #1 on: 02/10/2018 09:04 PM »
 The full width of the existing Falcon fairing is too short for a 330.
 The one near term thing they could really use might be a torus or ring of modules for low gravity research. Maybe multiple levels for lunar, Martian and Earth. It could also be a rehab facility for people returning from two or three years of Mars travel. Add a hub for micro g and docking.

Offline butters

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Can They Go?
« Reply #2 on: 02/10/2018 09:05 PM »
Cargo BFS as rendered at 2017 IAC will not fit B2100 because of the way the spacecraft tapers. It can fit a 7m diameter by 7m long payload. Anything longer than 7m in length needs to be skinnier in diameter.

Offline sanman

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Can They Go?
« Reply #3 on: 02/10/2018 10:36 PM »
And what's this other recent tweet from them refer to?

https://twitter.com/BigelowSpace/status/961666836268904448

Quote
Bigelow Aerospace‏Verified account @BigelowSpace
10:23 AM - 8 Feb 2018
Commercial space is not just about hardware, itís about doing business differently. Bigelow Aerospace is ready to lead that charge. More details coming soon... http://www.bigelowspaceops.com

The message on http://www.bigelowspaceops.com/   says "It's almost time..."

Time for what? Time to post up a launch schedule maybe - or some kind of calendar of upcoming events?

Does the opening of this new site mark some new phase of operations - perhaps one which has been triggered by the launch of Falcon Heavy?





Offline TrevorMonty

Also have launch mass for these habitats. NG could easily support 8.4m fairing but couldn't deliver 70t of BA2100. If fully expendable with maybe some SRBs eg GEM63XL it could do it. Would be expensive launch but cheaper than SLS.



Offline Patchouli

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #5 on: 02/11/2018 04:10 AM »
Also have launch mass for these habitats. NG could easily support 8.4m fairing but couldn't deliver 70t of BA2100. If fully expendable with maybe some SRBs eg GEM63XL it could do it. Would be expensive launch but cheaper than SLS.



Another booster might be the  P120C four to six of them should get the throw over 70t but as stated elsewhere I don't see BO using solids.
Another option design a new high energy second stage if you use the same propellant mass and standard stage dry mass and the equivalent of two J-2Xs you can lift 77t assuming you jettison the fairing at 160 seconds.
One J-2X or three BE-3Us come up just short of 70t.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2018 04:22 AM by Patchouli »

Offline sanman

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #6 on: 02/11/2018 12:46 PM »
Would it be possible for Bigelow to work with launch providers like SpaceX to tweak the fairing just enough to allow BA-330 to fit onboard?

Could ascent profile be modified to facilitate a larger fairing, perhaps by trading off velocity to reduce dynamic loads on the vehicle? For an RLV like  Falcon Heavy, maybe it could be tried using older used boosters that they don't mind losing, operating them in expendable mode.

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #7 on: 02/11/2018 01:02 PM »
Personally, and I know this isnít exactly the right thread for this, Iím surprised Bigelow didnít develop their  habs with fairing integrated, so that...

Top of structure, covering hatch, is covered by an ejectable nosecone similar to Dragon 1. Beneath that is a multi-segment fairing, perhaps three sections. These are fixed to the upper part of hab just below hatch, and are fixed in place at bottom by a release system like fairings have. Between each of these three fairing segments are foldable membranes, stowed behind fairing segments.

Once air resistance is not a factor the nose is ejected. Once inserted in target orbit the fairing segments articulate out like petals of a flower, the flexible membranes expanding to make the fully deployed structure a disc, which faces in the direction of travel. The hab expands in the void behind it. Think MMOD protection, radiators, power generation, etc.

Then the LV provider doesnít need to provide a fairing. It will, of course, have to work with Bigelow to ensure the design will fly stably on the LV through all modes of flight, but with the level of sophistication that currently exists with simulation and modeling, I think this is quite doable.

Call it out of the fairing thinking...

(And note I studiously avoided using the word ďjustĒ. I hate that word!)
« Last Edit: 02/11/2018 01:06 PM by Johnnyhinbos »
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Offline spacenut

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #8 on: 02/11/2018 01:37 PM »
Or  Bigelow could develop expandable modules to fit the existing fairing sizes.  When they get larger, develop modules to fit the larger fairings.  Each module will need to expand solar panels to power the unit.  Unless the fairing has solar panels on the inside of them.  I'm surprised with all the F9 launches, that Bigelow hasn't developed a unit to fit the F9/FH fairing.  It may not be a 330, but say something in the 200 size with solar panels.  That way it could fit anything now and in the near future. 

Online docmordrid

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Can They Go?
« Reply #9 on: 02/11/2018 07:34 PM »
Cargo BFS as rendered at 2017 IAC will not fit B2100 because of the way the spacecraft tapers. It can fit a 7m diameter by 7m long payload. Anything longer than 7m in length needs to be skinnier in diameter.

BA-2100 is said to require an 8 meter fairing, indicating somewhat less than that internally. Are we 100% sure that in a BFS's 9 meter hull the walls are >1 meter thick?

Also, the BFR stacks length may have changed. At IAC2017 the BFR+BFS stack was stated to be 106m tall.

In the FH post-flight presser he said,

Quote
Dave Mosher, Business Insider: "Hi, Dave Mosher from Business Insider. Thank you so much for doing this, by the way. I want to go back to BFR for a second since you were talking about that. ...."

Elon Musk: ".....The BFR, 9 meter diameter, 30 feet roughly. Diameter. Which is, yeah, you can fit a lot in 30 feet diameter. 110, 120 meters long. Yeah. Big.....

I can see Musk rounding 106m to 110m, but that 120m comment is another matter.
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Offline butters

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Can They Go?
« Reply #10 on: 02/11/2018 07:46 PM »
Cargo BFS as rendered at 2017 IAC will not fit B2100 because of the way the spacecraft tapers. It can fit a 7m diameter by 7m long payload. Anything longer than 7m in length needs to be skinnier in diameter.
BA-2100 is said to require an 8 meter fairing, indicating somewhat less than that internally. Are we 100% sure that in a BFS's 9 meter hull the walls are >1 meter thick?

Dude, just look at the thing. It's not an cylindrical, axisymmetric volume. It flattens like a wedge and tapers to a rounded nose for reentry aerodynamic reasons.  BA-2100 was designed with an 8m cylindrical volume in mind. BFS is not a cylindrical volume. It can hold 8-9m diameter payloads, but only it they have a short and squat aspect ratio.

Online docmordrid

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Can They Go?
« Reply #11 on: 02/11/2018 07:59 PM »
>
>
Dude, just look at the thing. It's not an cylindrical, axisymmetric volume. It flattens like a wedge and tapers to a rounded nose for reentry aerodynamic reasons.  BA-2100 was designed with an 8m cylindrical volume in mind. BFS is not a cylindrical volume. It can hold 8-9m diameter payloads, but only it they have a short and squat aspect ratio.

I am looking at "Chomper" as  CONCEPT art. Musk has already said the Tanker will evolve to a more optimized form factor, so there's no reason for the satellite delivery vehicle to be suboptimal. Quite the opposite; they may have more commonality above the tanks to each other than with BFS.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2018 08:01 PM by docmordrid »
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Online e of pi

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Can They Go?
« Reply #12 on: 02/12/2018 05:28 PM »
I can see Musk rounding 106m to 110m, but that 120m comment is another matter.
My guess is he meant to say feet. Musk looked exhausted and was trying to answer the question in the engineering units he probably actually knew to colloquial units for the press. If he meant to say "120 ft" having converted the units, but then said the wrong unit while trying to do the math in his head, then that might make more sense: 36m long sounds a lot more like the design we saw most recently. Certainly less strangely shaped than a 9m x 120m cargo bay would be.

Online docmordrid

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #13 on: 02/12/2018 05:34 PM »
I can see Musk rounding 106m to 110m, but that 120m comment is another matter.

My guess is he meant to say feet. Musk looked exhausted and was trying to answer the question in the engineering units he probably actually knew to colloquial units for the press. If he meant to say "120 ft" having converted the units, but then said the wrong unit while trying to do the math in his head, then that might make more sense: 36m long sounds a lot more like the design we saw most recently. Certainly less strangely shaped than a 9m x 120m cargo bay would be.


The recent Spaceship design (IAC2017) was 48m  (157.48 ft), not 36m, and I'm thinking he's talking the entire BFR/S stack. 106-->120m is a helluva jump.

« Last Edit: 02/12/2018 05:37 PM by docmordrid »
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Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #14 on: 02/12/2018 05:35 PM »
Personally, and I know this isnít exactly the right thread for this, Iím surprised Bigelow didnít develop their  habs with fairing integrated, so that...

Then the LV provider doesnít need to provide a fairing. It will, of course, have to work with Bigelow to ensure the design will fly stably on the LV through all modes of flight, but with the level of sophistication that currently exists with simulation and modeling, I think this is quite doable.

That doesn't sound much cheaper than asking launch providers to build slightly larger fairings.

Of course the most sensible thing to do would be to pick a subset of launch vehicles, get the minimum common envelope and impose that as a hard limitation on the engineering team.

Offline Proxima_Centauri

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #15 on: 02/18/2018 09:30 PM »
Also have launch mass for these habitats. NG could easily support 8.4m fairing but couldn't deliver 70t of BA2100. If fully expendable with maybe some SRBs eg GEM63XL it could do it. Would be expensive launch but cheaper than SLS.
We don't know what New Glenn's expendable payload numbers are, so that is pure speculation.

Offline sanman

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #16 on: Today at 04:00 AM »
It's too bad that a large interplanetary-class rocket like BFR (or New Armstrong, etc) can't be equipped with some kind of temporary Bigelow-style expanding hab section. Because then shortly after the rocket leaves the atmosphere, the hab section could expand outward to provide much more habitation space during transit to a far location like Mars. Then as it nears that destination, perhaps the hab could be re-compressed again, before the vehicle undergoes EDL. Then after landing, maybe the hab section could be expanded again, to provide a roomier space on Mars.

Because Bigelow habs seemed to be designed with minimal propulsion meant mainly for station-keeping, they're seen primarily as suitable for space stations. Could they be used as manned deep space vessels, perhaps after some modifications? What kind of modifications would be required?

Online docmordrid

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #17 on: Today at 08:11 AM »
>
Because Bigelow habs seemed to be designed with minimal propulsion meant mainly for station-keeping, they're seen primarily as suitable for space stations. Could they be used as manned deep space vessels, perhaps after some modifications? What kind of modifications would be required?

The most recent animations & the below article show a B330 with a refuellable ULA ACES stage as a propulsion bus.

http://spacenews.com/bigelow-and-ula-announce-plans-for-lunar-orbiting-facility/
« Last Edit: Today at 08:12 AM by docmordrid »
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Offline sanman

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #18 on: Today at 04:14 PM »
Where can that ACES propulsion bus take it? Just around cis-Lunar space?


Offline RonM

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #19 on: Today at 04:38 PM »
It's too bad that a large interplanetary-class rocket like BFR (or New Armstrong, etc) can't be equipped with some kind of temporary Bigelow-style expanding hab section. Because then shortly after the rocket leaves the atmosphere, the hab section could expand outward to provide much more habitation space during transit to a far location like Mars. Then as it nears that destination, perhaps the hab could be re-compressed again, before the vehicle undergoes EDL. Then after landing, maybe the hab section could be expanded again, to provide a roomier space on Mars.

Because Bigelow habs seemed to be designed with minimal propulsion meant mainly for station-keeping, they're seen primarily as suitable for space stations. Could they be used as manned deep space vessels, perhaps after some modifications? What kind of modifications would be required?

Expandable modules can't be re-compressed after they are deployed. If you pump out all the air inside, since space is a vacuum, there is no external force to collapse the module. A mechanical system to fold it would add a lot of mass and defeat the purpose of a lightweight expandable module.

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