Author Topic: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)  (Read 70814 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

Thread four for Bigelow general updates and discussion.

Thread 1:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15581.0

Thread 2:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26545.0

Thread 3:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30850.0

News articles with Bigelow references from this site:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/?s=Bigelow


Remember to keep it on topic and civil at all times or your post will be deleted without notice.
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #1 on: 10/02/2018 07:24 am »
Kirk Shireman = ISS manager

Jeff Foust @jeff_foust
Shireman notes that Bigelow Aerospaces BEAM module, originally intended to be on the ISS for two years, is now expected to remain on the station indefinitely. #IAC2018
10:57 AM - Oct 1, 2018

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/961356823696740352
« Last Edit: 10/05/2018 01:00 pm by Chris Bergin »
DM

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #2 on: 10/02/2018 11:42 pm »
Kirk Shireman = ISS manager

Jeff Foust @jeff_foust
Shireman notes that Bigelow Aerospaces BEAM module, originally intended to be on the ISS for two years, is now expected to remain on the station indefinitely. #IAC2018
10:57 AM - Oct 1, 2018

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/961356823696740352?s=19

Realistically, was anyone hoping to use the CBM port BEAM is attached to for something else, considering the assorted clearance issues due to surrounding structures? Well, aside from maybe Nanorack's Bishop airlock?

Offline brickmack

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #3 on: 10/04/2018 12:49 pm »
Realistically, was anyone hoping to use the CBM port BEAM is attached to for something else, considering the assorted clearance issues due to surrounding structures? Well, aside from maybe Nanorack's Bishop airlock?

Nanoracks had at once point proposed a permanent exposed facility on that port, similar in capabilities to Bartolomeo IIRC. That ended development around when Bishop started though

Offline ChefPat

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Playing Politics with Commercial Crew is Un-American!!!

Offline Comga

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #5 on: 03/30/2019 09:43 pm »
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanocallaghan/2019/03/04/spacexs-crew-dragon-launch-could-make-space-hotels-a-reality/amp/
Yawn
Perhaps Forbes readers dont know this stuff
Bigelow is still talking about the B330.
That’s designed for the larger fairing volume, lower payload, more expensive Atlas V, rather than the cheaper, more capable (to LEO) Heavy version of the Falcon rocket that would be used for customer transport.
(AFAIK Boeing has not talked about selling capsules or rides commercially.
That Starliner seats are much more expensive may be due solely to Boeing’s superior negotiating, but they would also negotiate with Bigelow.)
It might be that Bigelow doesn’t have the talent to start a new design.
How many work there now?
It’s very hard to believe he has the talent to build anything
And NASA is paying Dover to replicate Bigelow’s “expandable” technology.
There may not ever be much to discuss in this Thread 4.
Kind of a shame.

Edit: changed word choice re Atlas V
« Last Edit: 03/30/2019 11:08 pm by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #6 on: 03/30/2019 10:27 pm »
The Bigelow module at their campus is now available to NASA for testing as part of NextSTEP-2. Any photographs of the modifications or equipment such as life support?

Offline GWH

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #7 on: 04/02/2019 05:54 am »
Was wondering if this thread would come back to life. All this accelerated moon talk and not a peep from Bigelow...

Offline Lar

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #8 on: 04/04/2019 03:20 pm »
Um.... some trimming. we don't need posts arguing about whether a post is OK or not.
"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
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Offline GWH

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #9 on: 04/07/2019 05:29 am »
The recent NASA post on gateway hab prototypes has this image of Bigelow's latest concept:

The propulsion module looks like a weird Centaur 3m stage with 4 engines and outfitted as its own module complete with robotic arms, hexagonal solar panels and additional "stuff" (external experiment racks)?
The length/width seems all wrong for a 5m Centaur,  see Nanoracks photo as a comparison, or ULA's own renderings of Vulcan Centaur.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-begins-testing-habitation-prototypes


This is also quite different from module shown in a NASA Gateway update document produce sometime in 2018 or later: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/cislunar-update-gerstenmaier-crusan-v5a.pdf
Here we see hexagonal solar panel modules and nodes without the large engine bells.


It would be really nice to know if any of this is in serious development or all just preliminary ideas in constant flux. The variation and lack of consistency suggests the latter to me.

Meanwhile the Glassdoor reviews have gone from describing BA as merely a bad company to work for to a literal dumpster fire surrounded by armed guards.... https://www.glassdoor.ca/Reviews/Bigelow-Aerospace-Reviews-E373179.htm
« Last Edit: 04/07/2019 08:19 pm by GWH »

Online matthewkantar

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #10 on: 04/08/2019 05:27 pm »
I read some of the Glass Door reviews. Holy crap! The real money in Bigelow is in selling Kafka’s take on “The Office.”

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #11 on: 04/08/2019 05:49 pm »
The recent NASA post on gateway hab prototypes has this image of Bigelow's latest concept:

The propulsion module looks like a weird Centaur 3m stage with 4 engines and outfitted as its own module complete with robotic arms, hexagonal solar panels and additional "stuff" (external experiment racks)?
The length/width seems all wrong for a 5m Centaur,  see Nanoracks photo as a comparison, or ULA's own renderings of Vulcan Centaur.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-begins-testing-habitation-prototypes


This is also quite different from module shown in a NASA Gateway update document produce sometime in 2018 or later: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/cislunar-update-gerstenmaier-crusan-v5a.pdf
Here we see hexagonal solar panel modules and nodes without the large engine bells.


It would be really nice to know if any of this is in serious development or all just preliminary ideas in constant flux. The variation and lack of consistency suggests the latter to me.
*snip*

Like the habitat module, the power and propulsion element is also in design competition. I think NASA is cycling through various combinations of the proposals in the competitions every time they require an artwork of the Gateway space station.

I'm not sure who designed the PPE in this artwork, but the 5 competing companies are Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada, and Space Systems Loral.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline brickmack

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #12 on: 04/08/2019 08:39 pm »
Like the habitat module, the power and propulsion element is also in design competition. I think NASA is cycling through various combinations of the proposals in the competitions every time they require an artwork of the Gateway space station.

I'm not sure who designed the PPE in this artwork, but the 5 competing companies are Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada, and Space Systems Loral.

Each company is either doing their own PPE or not bidding one at all. This thing in Bigelows renders isn't from anybody elses's bid, and it seems to be cobbled together from assets they already had for ACES/B330. The hexagonal things in the presentation were chemical tugs/lunar landers that Bigelow proposed years ago and has apparently done no work on since
« Last Edit: 04/08/2019 08:41 pm by brickmack »

Offline GWH

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #13 on: 04/08/2019 09:25 pm »
Bigelow published some tweets today:

https://twitter.com/BigelowSpace/status/1115363247194927105


https://twitter.com/BigelowSpace/status/1115363480532439040

Kinda weird post to be honest. After being so quiet for a while they show a fuzzy looking inflatable and a terrible shcematic, then ramble about protecting IP.
« Last Edit: 04/08/2019 11:58 pm by GWH »

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #14 on: 04/08/2019 09:34 pm »
So despite the fact that they received US taxpayer money to build the mock-ups, not only will it not go to a NASA facility for testing like the other Hab prototypes, we can’t even get a real photo of it?

Something smells bad....

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #15 on: 04/08/2019 09:50 pm »
Like the habitat module, the power and propulsion element is also in design competition. I think NASA is cycling through various combinations of the proposals in the competitions every time they require an artwork of the Gateway space station.

I'm not sure who designed the PPE in this artwork, but the 5 competing companies are Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada, and Space Systems Loral.


Each company is either doing their own PPE or not bidding one at all. This thing in Bigelows renders isn't from anybody elses's bid, and it seems to be cobbled together from assets they already had for ACES/B330. The hexagonal things in the presentation were chemical tugs/lunar landers that Bigelow proposed years ago and has apparently done no work on since

Bigelow is not doing a PPE bid, its bid is for the habitat module.

Two different things.

I don't know whose design the PPE in that picture is, but it's one of those 5 companies.
« Last Edit: 04/08/2019 10:17 pm by whitelancer64 »
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #16 on: 04/08/2019 10:16 pm »
It was bothering me, so I dug around until I found the original web page where that picture came from. For the record, it's here:

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-begins-testing-habitation-prototypes

The page has a render for each habitat, and each render seems to have been produced by each of the companies developing habitats for the Gateway (not by NASA). Each company also seems to have included their own hardware for the rest of the Gateway in their render, as they saw fit. For example, Northrop Grumman uses all Cygnus-based hardware for every Gateway element in their render.

So Bigelow has not put in a bid for the PPE, but its render shows its own hardware in that section of the Gateway. Mystery solved.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline GWH

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #17 on: 04/08/2019 11:24 pm »
It was bothering me, so I dug around until I found the original web page where that picture came from.

I posted that link in my original post.... no digging required.
Can't really say the mystery is solved, those nozzles are clearly large chemical engines anyway, not a SEP unit as required for the PPE. So the mystery is that either Bigelow is proposing that as their architecture or the rendering is complete artistic licence.

Given their history I would assume artistic licence.  It would be great if it was something they had in the works with ULA, but I doubt that for several reasons, the first of which is that module looks completely infeasible given ULA's hardware.

Anyway the reason I drew attention to their artwork (Copyrighted for 2019) is that if it is in fact a serious proposal for habitat propulsion it would be relevant and timely given the current uncertainty around SLS's EUS and the ability to co-manifest payloads. Any module flying on commercial launch vehicles will need to be capable of injecting itself into NHRO. That whole Low Lunar Orbit Bigelow station that was announced a few years ago proposed this very capability by using ULA's ACES and distributed lift. Of course since then Boeing has kiboshed development of certain key elements of ACES anyway...
« Last Edit: 04/09/2019 01:08 am by GWH »

Offline brickmack

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #18 on: 04/09/2019 02:41 am »
I don't know whose design the PPE in that picture is, but it's one of those 5 companies.

To be more direct: there is not a PPE design in that render. It is entirely a fabrication by Bigelow, and is not actually being developed. The PPE bids of all those companies are known, and the "thing" in that render is obviously cobbled together with no thought from multiple other spacecraft

Offline meberbs

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #19 on: 04/09/2019 06:26 am »
I read some of the Glass Door reviews. Holy crap! The real money in Bigelow is in selling Kafka’s take on “The Office.”

I have hoped that Bigelow would do well, they have good proven technology that is useful and have plans to take one of the next milestones of expanding into space: commercial space stations.

After reading the recent reviews, I am now somewhat concerned that if they do get a station built, it may be extreme levels of unsafe. (I had seen bad reviews before, but these new ones go far beyond what I previously read and imply much worse problems. They are consistent with the older reviews in a way that gives them credibility. They seem to confirm the worst possible interpretation of the older reviews.)

The absolute worst review is one that gives the company 4 stars from July 2018. I can't bear to repeat it here, but it makes literal threats to anyone posting negative reviews, and implicitly confirms the complaints in other reviews that management does not understand engineering.

It seems like plenty of good engineers may have passed through, and with influence from the NASA contracts, hopefully anything that makes it to orbit will have had some proper safety reviews. I still hope for their success, but I now fear catastrophic failure.

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