Author Topic: NASA Selects First Commercial Destination Module (Axiom) for ISS  (Read 23387 times)

Offline ncb1397

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Isn't the plan still to splash ISS in a few years? ???

In 2028, currently. It may be extended to 2030.

Axiom's modules are designed to be separated at ISS end of life and operate as an independent commercial space station.

I believe officially the ISS end date could still be 2024 but it is expected to be extended by some number of years. For instance, the 2017 NASA authorization act says the following:

Quote
    ``(a) Policy of the United States.--It shall be the policy of the
United States, in consultation with its international partners in the
ISS program, to support full and complete utilization of the ISS through
at least 2024.

NASA is simply implementing the NASA authorization act required transition plan.

Quote
ISS Transition Plan.--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Coordination.>>  In general.--The
        Administrator, in coordination with the ISS management entity
        (as defined in section 2 of the National Aeronautics and Space
        Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017), ISS
        partners, the scientific user community, and the commercial
        space sector, shall develop a plan to transition in a step-wise
        approach from the current regime that relies heavily on NASA
        sponsorship to a regime where NASA could be one of many
        customers of a low-Earth orbit non-governmental human space
        flight enterprise.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/442/text

The result of that is this space station that NASA will apparently fund at least partially that grows off the ISS and then eventually breaks away taking a MPLM with it.

Offline Rocket Science

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Thanks to you as well. My head keep spinning with all the proposed splash dates and extensions with every new administration. In 10 months we "may" have a new administration, stay tuned I guess...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator

Offline Nydoc

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Isn't the plan still to splash ISS in a few years? ???

In 2028, currently. It may be extended to 2030.

Axiom's modules are designed to be separated at ISS end of life and operate as an independent commercial space station.

I believe officially the ISS end date could still be 2024 but it is expected to be extended by some number of years.
There was actually a provision in HR 5666 to have the end of life for ISS extended to 2028. However this particular resolution isn't very popular because it undercuts NASA's decision making with regard to lunar landers and it would put restrictions on the use of the Gateway station. Eric Berger is saying there isn't broad support for this resolution right now in Congress. I don't expect this bill to pass through the Senate without major modification. Despite this, extending the end of life for ISS remains popular and I suspect it would be extended to at least 2028.

A very interesting detail I caught which wasn't mentioned in Tobias Corbett's piece: the final render of the detached Axiom Station shows ESA's Columbus Lab Module and JAXA's Kibo module attached to the Axiom station! If this is the plan of action then ISS would live on in Axiom!
« Last Edit: 01/29/2020 06:53 pm by Nydoc »

Offline TrevorMonty

If Axiom extension works out then NASA maybe able to lease room on that and kill off the ISS. Other partners would have to make their own arrangements but most likely follow NASA. Russian would most likely do their own station or partner with China. Alternatively Axiom could do barter deal with Russian ie station use for Soyzu rides and resupply.

For some microgravity manufacturing and experiments an unmanned station without vibration caused by crew would be better. Nanorack's first station is likely to be unmanned for these reasons and would complement Axiom station. Being unmanned makes for lot cheaper station, ideally have it within low DV of manned station so crew can visit for occasional maintenance work.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2020 08:32 pm by TrevorMonty »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Quote
Bigelow Aerospace sets sights on free-flying station after passing on ISS commercial module
by Jeff Foust — January 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — The founder of Bigelow Aerospace says his company decided not to pursue a NASA competition for a commercial International Space Station module because of funding concerns, but remains interested in a separate effort for supporting a free-flying facility in low Earth orbit.

https://spacenews.com/bigelow-aerospace-sets-sights-on-free-flying-station-after-passing-on-iss-commercial-module/

Offline topopesto

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In my opinion it would be most practical if the new module would replace both a PMA and IDA.
For this to work, the Axiom module should have a passive CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) on one side, and an IDSS (International Docking System Standard) port on the other side.
The advantage of this, is that the module becomes a full part, with the same accessibility as the other modules of the US part, of the ISS.
But how can the PMA+IDA be disposed off? Possibly this can be done with a Dragon2 cargo resupply return.

During the latest ISS tour the ISS looks overfilled with stowage. On the US side at least three ports have to be made free from stowage. Namely:
- Node 2 Forward for PMA2/IDA2 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 2 Zenith for PMA3/IDA3 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 3 Port for Nanoracks Bishop Airlock (SpX-21)
Two further ports need to be free when resupply vehicles visit:
- Node 2 Nadir, std berthing location for Dragon and HTV-(X)
- Node 1 Nadir, std berthing location for Cygnus.
Another possibility with the axiom module having two ports is that it can convert Node1 Nadir from an CBM into an IDSS compliant docking port while also providing additional stowage space.
Time will tell if most US cargo vehicles will convert to using IDSS or remain using CBM.

edit. I looked closer at the images from Axiom. It looks like the modules will have two CBM ports.
to provide a IDSS port they look like using Common Docking Adapter (CDA). [wiki]

Axiom Image is the second attached, not embedded, image file:

These modules look larger than Columbus. I wonder if the US Airlock might need replacement as well?

edit zubenelgenubi

Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

Offline jbenton

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In my opinion it would be most practical if the new module would replace both a PMA and IDA.
For this to work, the Axiom module should have a passive CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) on one side, and an IDSS (International Docking System Standard) port on the other side.
The advantage of this, is that the module becomes a full part, with the same accessibility as the other modules of the US part, of the ISS.
But how can the PMA+IDA be disposed off? Possibly this can be done with a Dragon2 cargo resupply return.

During the latest ISS tour the ISS looks overfilled with stowage. On the US side at least three ports have to be made free from stowage. Namely:
- Node 2 Forward for PMA2/IDA2 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 2 Zenith for PMA3/IDA3 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 3 Port for Nanoracks Bishop Airlock (SpX-21)
Two further ports need to be free when resupply vehicles visit:
- Node 2 Nadir, std berthing location for Dragon and HTV-(X)
- Node 1 Nadir, std berthing location for Cygnus.
Another possibility with the axiom module having two ports is that it can convert Node1 Nadir from an CBM into an IDSS compliant docking port while also providing additional stowage space.
Time will tell if most US cargo vehicles will convert to using IDSS or remain using CBM.

edit. I looked closer at the images from Axiom. It looks like the modules will have two CBM ports.
to provide a IDSS port they look like using Common Docking Adapter (CDA). [wiki]

Axiom Image is the second attached, not embedded, image file:

These modules look larger than Columbus. I wonder if the US Airlock might need replacement as well?

edit zubenelgenubi

Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

I think the main truss is in the way

Edit: the main truss isn't right over Tranquility, but I think there's a clearance issue with the radiators
« Last Edit: 01/31/2020 02:10 am by jbenton »

Offline russianhalo117

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In my opinion it would be most practical if the new module would replace both a PMA and IDA.
For this to work, the Axiom module should have a passive CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) on one side, and an IDSS (International Docking System Standard) port on the other side.
The advantage of this, is that the module becomes a full part, with the same accessibility as the other modules of the US part, of the ISS.
But how can the PMA+IDA be disposed off? Possibly this can be done with a Dragon2 cargo resupply return.

During the latest ISS tour the ISS looks overfilled with stowage. On the US side at least three ports have to be made free from stowage. Namely:
- Node 2 Forward for PMA2/IDA2 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 2 Zenith for PMA3/IDA3 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 3 Port for Nanoracks Bishop Airlock (SpX-21)
Two further ports need to be free when resupply vehicles visit:
- Node 2 Nadir, std berthing location for Dragon and HTV-(X)
- Node 1 Nadir, std berthing location for Cygnus.
Another possibility with the axiom module having two ports is that it can convert Node1 Nadir from an CBM into an IDSS compliant docking port while also providing additional stowage space.
Time will tell if most US cargo vehicles will convert to using IDSS or remain using CBM.

edit. I looked closer at the images from Axiom. It looks like the modules will have two CBM ports.
to provide a IDSS port they look like using Common Docking Adapter (CDA). [wiki]

Axiom Image is the second attached, not embedded, image file:

These modules look larger than Columbus. I wonder if the US Airlock might need replacement as well?

edit zubenelgenubi

Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

I think the main truss is in the way

Edit: the main truss isn't right over tranquility, but I think there's a clearance issue with the radiators
Dragon-2 series requires the length and design of the PMA/IDA Integrated Assembly in order to dock because of its permanent nosecone.

Offline SWGlassPit

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Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

There's not a whole lot of pictures out there showing it, but Node 3 Zenith is *not* a functional CBM.  The alignment guides are missing, I'm not sure, but I think the bolts may not be there either.

Instead, there is a beam spanning the berthing ring, to which a PVGF is affixed.

Here's one such picture showing the grapple fixture: [attached image]
« Last Edit: 02/11/2020 08:22 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline MattMason

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Quote
Bigelow Aerospace sets sights on free-flying station after passing on ISS commercial module
by Jeff Foust — January 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — The founder of Bigelow Aerospace says his company decided not to pursue a NASA competition for a commercial International Space Station module because of funding concerns, but remains interested in a separate effort for supporting a free-flying facility in low Earth orbit.

https://spacenews.com/bigelow-aerospace-sets-sights-on-free-flying-station-after-passing-on-iss-commercial-module/

That's a risky move by Bigelow to pass on this. I understand why. But as they already have a tested technology, there's a question whether any other entity would want a standalone station if another one is already in place.
"Why is the logo on the side of a rocket so important?"
"So you can find the pieces." -Jim, the Steely Eyed

Offline jak Kennedy

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I have a gut feeling that Bigelow will miss out on any of these projects to the Sierra Nevada Corp inflatable modules.
... the way that we will ratchet up our species, is to take the best and to spread it around everybody, so that everybody grows up with better things. - Steve Jobs

Offline BrightLight

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It appears the  award to Axiom is for Task order 1 - which does not directly fund the development of the hardware to be connected to ISS, it is a planning phase, see Appendix I https://www.nasa.gov/nextstep/issport

Here is my abstraction portion of Appendix I
NASA anticipates awarding:
-   multiple single-award Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts from Appendix I with multiple phases executed by Task Orders.
Through task orders, the government intends to purchase data deliverables and insight to support integration of the Commercial Segment into ISS
-   demonstration of commercial capabilities. All awardees will receive
Task Order 1 for concept and business plan development. [NOW FUNDED]
Task Order 2 to begin the early design phase and mature business plans, leading to subsequent task orders and an eventual decision point for prioritization of use of the ISS port.
-   Following [ADDITIONAL TASK ORDERS? – HOW MANY?] a port prioritization decision, the awardee will complete Design, Development, Test, and Evaluation (DDT&E) and deliver the Commercial Element(s) to ISS
 The detailed requirements and additional information on the overall acquisition strategy will be contained in the forthcoming Appendix I solicitation.
« Last Edit: 01/31/2020 04:05 pm by BrightLight »

Online clongton

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I hope Mr. Bigelow has a plan going forward. He was rich enough to start his company and excited an awful lot of people. But he doesn't have the deep pockets of Elon Musk and even he almost went broke until NASA basically saved SpaceX, something for which Elon will ever be grateful. Mr. Bigelow is now speaking of funding concerns. I'm hopeful that it has to do with things he has going on that really won't allow him taking on another contract in the near term. That's my hope anyway. I would love to see his vision of free flying NGO and other governments stations bearing the Bigelow Aerospace logo come to fruition.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline jbenton

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Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

There's not a whole lot of pictures out there showing it, but Node 3 Zenith is *not* a functional CBM...

Instead, there is a beam spanning the berthing ring, to which a PVGF is affixed.

...

So they do "use" it, just not as a berthing point. :D
... Well unless they never put the arm there.

I have a gut feeling that Bigelow will miss out on any of these projects to the Sierra Nevada Corp inflatable modules.

Quick question:
I though Bigelow had a patent for inflatable modules - if so, why is SNC allowed to use them? Or am I mistaken?

*My understanding is that NASA developed TransHab, patented it, didn't have the funding to use it, and gave the patent to Bigelow in the hopes that the idea could be put to use.

Offline SWGlassPit

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Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

There's not a whole lot of pictures out there showing it, but Node 3 Zenith is *not* a functional CBM...

Instead, there is a beam spanning the berthing ring, to which a PVGF is affixed.

...

So they do "use" it, just not as a berthing point. :D
... Well unless they never put the arm there.
As far as I can tell, they've never actually used that fixture.  My understanding is the "video" part of the PVGF is not hooked up, rendering it useless as a base for the SSRMS.  They could park the SPDM there though.  Not much it can do from there.

Quote
I have a gut feeling that Bigelow will miss out on any of these projects to the Sierra Nevada Corp inflatable modules.

Quick question:
I though Bigelow had a patent for inflatable modules - if so, why is SNC allowed to use them? Or am I mistaken?

*My understanding is that NASA developed TransHab, patented it, didn't have the funding to use it, and gave the patent to Bigelow in the hopes that the idea could be put to use.

Here's a list of the patents awarded and applied for that are assigned to Bigelow Aerospace:
https://patents.google.com/?assignee=Bigelow+Aerospace

I see a number that cover specific technical details of inflatables, but nothing covering an inflatable spacecraft as a whole.

Interestingly, it looks like they tried to patent what amounts to Powerball, but in space (but abandoned the application)
« Last Edit: 01/31/2020 06:20 pm by SWGlassPit »

Offline topopesto

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Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

  The alignment guides are missing, I'm not sure, but I think the bolts may not be there either.

You're probalility right,  but we aren't sure.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2020 08:24 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Node 3 (Tranquility) was designed to be mounted at Node 1 nadir. The side where instead of an CBM, an PDGF is located was supposed to be the rear side. That port wouldn't be usable because it's blocked by MRM-1 (rassvet).
Later it was decided to move Node3, so two CBM ports (N1 & N2 nadir) are available for US cargo resupply. Now indeed the PDGF is used to stow SPDM. Afaik the PDGF provides power to SPDM survivability.

Offline topopesto

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Node 3 (Tranquility) was designed to be mounted at Node 1 nadir. The side where instead of an CBM, an PDGF is located was supposed to be the rear side. That port wouldn't be usable because it's blocked by MRM-1 (rassvet).
Later it was decided to move Node3, so two CBM ports (N1 & N2 nadir) are available for US cargo resupply. Now indeed the PDGF is used to stow SPDM. Afaik the PDGF provides power to SPDM survivability.

Ok, thank for the news.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1580556289129689088

Quote
Axiom Space’s Mary Lynne Dittmar says at a Beyond Earth symposium this morning that the first Axiom module launch is now scheduled for late 2025. (It had been late 2024.) Will be followed in 6-8 months by a second module, a clone of the first.

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