Author Topic: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)  (Read 83302 times)

Offline clongton

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #60 on: 06/10/2019 03:46 pm »
all paper at this point.

Not exactly: Genesis I, Genesis II and BEAM.

All done before the most talented engineers left.
I'd be surprised if Bigalow can still step up; pleased, but surprised.
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Offline Cheapchips

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #61 on: 06/11/2019 02:27 pm »
Arranging ISS trips as a test for their own habs later?

https://twitter.com/BigelowSpace/status/1137012892191076353

Quote
Bigelow Space Operations has made significant deposits for the ability to fly up to 16 people to the International Space Station on 4 dedicated SpaceX flights.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #62 on: 06/11/2019 04:21 pm »
https://www.bigelowspaceops.com/flytotheiss.php

Quote
Bigelow Space Operations Announces it has Reserved up to Four Dedicated SpaceX Launches to the International Space Station

On Friday, June 7, 2019 Bigelow Space Operations (BSO) announced that last September of 2018 BSO paid substantial sums as deposits and reservation fees to secure up to four SpaceX launches to the International Space Station (ISS). These launches are dedicated flights each carrying up to four people for a duration of one to possibly two months on the ISS.

BSO is excited about NASA’s announcements last Friday. BSO has demonstrated its sincerity and commitment to moving forward on NASA’s commercialization plans for the ISS through the execution of last September’s launch contracts. BSO intends to thoroughly digest all of the information that was dispersed last week so that all opportunities and obligations to properly conduct the flights and activities of new astronauts to the ISS can be responsibly performed.

In these early times, the seat cost will be targeted at approximately $52,000,000 per person.

The next big question is when is this all going to happen? Once the SpaceX rocket and capsule are certified by NASA to fly people to the ISS, then this program can begin.

As you might imagine, as they say “the devil is in the details”, and there are many. But we are excited and optimistic that all of this can come together successfully, and BSO has skin in the game.

Robert T. Bigelow
President,
Bigelow Space Operations
Bigelow Aerospace

Offline meekGee

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #63 on: 06/11/2019 04:27 pm »
all paper at this point.

Not exactly: Genesis I, Genesis II and BEAM.

All done before the most talented engineers left.
I'd be surprised if Bigalow can still step up; pleased, but surprised.

and IIRC was largely based on existing technology they got from NASA.  If you don't have core technology development in-house, what's your value exactly?  An integrator?  There are plenty of those, and they are better at it than Bigelow.
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Offline whitelancer64

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #64 on: 06/11/2019 04:38 pm »
all paper at this point.

Not exactly: Genesis I, Genesis II and BEAM.

All done before the most talented engineers left.
I'd be surprised if Bigalow can still step up; pleased, but surprised.

and IIRC was largely based on existing technology they got from NASA.  If you don't have core technology development in-house, what's your value exactly?  An integrator?  There are plenty of those, and they are better at it than Bigelow.

I'm of the understanding that Bigelow improved on the transhab design significantly, particularly in regards to the materials used.
"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 Tulse

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #65 on: 06/11/2019 06:44 pm »
Quote
Bigelow Space Operations Announces it has Reserved up to Four Dedicated SpaceX Launches to the International Space Station

On Friday, June 7, 2019 Bigelow Space Operations (BSO) announced that last September of 2018 BSO paid substantial sums as deposits and reservation fees to secure up to four SpaceX launches to the International Space Station (ISS). These launches are dedicated flights each carrying up to four people for a duration of one to possibly two months on the ISS.
I don't really get this -- is Bigelow essentially just acting as a travel agent here?  It doesn't seem like they are providing any material service for the tourists.

And if SpaceX is going to be in the tourist-ferrying business, why would they agree to have Bigelow act as middle-man, rather than just make arrangements for tourists directly?

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #66 on: 06/11/2019 07:21 pm »
Quote
Bigelow Space Operations Announces it has Reserved up to Four Dedicated SpaceX Launches to the International Space Station

On Friday, June 7, 2019 Bigelow Space Operations (BSO) announced that last September of 2018 BSO paid substantial sums as deposits and reservation fees to secure up to four SpaceX launches to the International Space Station (ISS). These launches are dedicated flights each carrying up to four people for a duration of one to possibly two months on the ISS.
I don't really get this -- is Bigelow essentially just acting as a travel agent here?  It doesn't seem like they are providing any material service for the tourists.

And if SpaceX is going to be in the tourist-ferrying business, why would they agree to have Bigelow act as middle-man, rather than just make arrangements for tourists directly?

I understand it as the seats they are reserving aren't for tourists, but would be for Bigelow employees who come to outfit a B330 on the ISS.

This is assuming that they either A. get the go-ahead from NASA for the XBASE, B. have an agreement with NASA to check out / outfit a private B330 at the ISS before separating it for their private space station, or C. win the Gateway habitat competition and put it together at the ISS before shifting it to the Gateway. Or possibly even some combination of the above.
"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 #67 on: 06/11/2019 08:37 pm »
I don't really get this -- is Bigelow essentially just acting as a travel agent here?  It doesn't seem like they are providing any material service for the tourists.

Something they will need to do anyway. Lot's of work in securing customers, arranging a ride, dealing with accommodation (ISS), providing any relevant training and health checks, and what is likely mountains of paper work.

And if SpaceX is going to be in the tourist-ferrying business, why would they agree to have Bigelow act as middle-man, rather than just make arrangements for tourists directly?

They could, but all of the above sounds like a lot of work and risk for a company that doesn't specialize in it. Much different than something like DearMoon where they can offer a service 100% internal to the company.



I understand it as the seats they are reserving aren't for tourists, but would be for Bigelow employees who come to outfit a B330 on the ISS.

This is assuming that they either A. get the go-ahead from NASA for the XBASE, B. have an agreement with NASA to check out / outfit a private B330 at the ISS before separating it for their private space station, or C. win the Gateway habitat competition and put it together at the ISS before shifting it to the Gateway. Or possibly even some combination of the above.

Not sure how you arrived at that conclusion.
There is no evidence that B330 is anywhere near ready, and that single docking port has at least 2 other potential customers trying to get a piece of it with the upcoming competition.
XBASE was only ever intended as a test for NASA before it undocks to become its own independent station.

Quote
The next big question is when is this all going to happen? Once the SpaceX rocket and capsule are certified by NASA to fly people to the ISS, then this program can begin.

No mention of B330 or XBASE whatsoever. Pretty big omission if that is something they are depending on.



Personally I think this is the first good proposal/plan to come from Bigelow in a long time.  There will no doubt be a very steep learning curve to actually getting tourists up to any station, ISS or their own module. Depending on their own module just makes that exponentially harder.

If they can successfully pull off flying even a few tourists it legitimizes them as a company. This would further validate space tourism as a valid industry - the last orbital flight was a decade ago.
Geek wire reports that one competitor, Space Adventures, is in works to fly tourists on Starliner as the 5th seat: https://www.geekwire.com/2019/bigelow-aims-sell-rides-space-station-spacex-dragon-ships-52m-seat/

I am super skeptical of pretty much everything Bigelow does, but this a step to actually operating a legitimate business with paying customers beyond the niche market of space closets. If/when B330 launches it has a much higher chance of success if the mechanism to get customers there is actually proven out.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2019 08:39 pm by GWH »

Offline JH

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #68 on: 06/11/2019 09:20 pm »
If they can successfully pull off flying even a few tourists it legitimizes them as a company.

It speaks volumes about the company's reputation that they have a module attached to the ISS but still need to be legitimized.

Offline Yellowstone10

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #69 on: 06/11/2019 09:37 pm »

Geek wire reports that one competitor, Space Adventures, is in works to fly tourists on Starliner as the 5th seat: https://www.geekwire.com/2019/bigelow-aims-sell-rides-space-station-spacex-dragon-ships-52m-seat/


The problem with any effort to fly tourists in the 5th seat, unless I'm missing something, is that you can only run those missions during crew handovers. So either you have to coordinate with both Boeing and SpaceX so that the tourist can ride up on a Starliner and return on a Dragon, or you have to hope scheduling works out such that two Starliners launch in a row (and I assume NASA plans to alternate capsules). Or your tourist is staying on the station for six months (not terribly likely).

Offline yg1968

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #70 on: 06/12/2019 12:26 am »

Geek wire reports that one competitor, Space Adventures, is in works to fly tourists on Starliner as the 5th seat: https://www.geekwire.com/2019/bigelow-aims-sell-rides-space-station-spacex-dragon-ships-52m-seat/


The problem with any effort to fly tourists in the 5th seat, unless I'm missing something, is that you can only run those missions during crew handovers. So either you have to coordinate with both Boeing and SpaceX so that the tourist can ride up on a Starliner and return on a Dragon, or you have to hope scheduling works out such that two Starliners launch in a row (and I assume NASA plans to alternate capsules). Or your tourist is staying on the station for six months (not terribly likely).

The other thing is that NASA hasn't yet said that they would allow that. In a NAC meeting last year, McAlister said that NASA was considering this option because they understand that it's not easy to fill an entire capsule. Since nothing was announced last week, I am guessing that NASA hasn't yet approved this plan. I was disapointed that no one asked that question at the press conference last week.
« Last Edit: 06/12/2019 12:30 am by yg1968 »

Offline Craftyatom

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #71 on: 06/12/2019 03:38 pm »
If they can successfully pull off flying even a few tourists it legitimizes them as a company.

It speaks volumes about the company's reputation that they have a module attached to the ISS but still need to be legitimized.
Either the company's reputation, or the standards of the legitimizing agency, or both.
All aboard the HSF hype train!  Choo Choo!

Offline Nate_Trost

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #72 on: 06/12/2019 03:56 pm »
Why does this seem like an Orion Lite debacle all over again?

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #73 on: 06/13/2019 02:09 am »
all paper at this point.

Not exactly: Genesis I, Genesis II and BEAM.

All done before the most talented engineers left.
I'd be surprised if Bigalow can still step up; pleased, but surprised.

Looks like many of Bigelow's items were done by Thin Red Line in Chilliwack BC Canada.

http://www.thin-red-line.com/

http://www.thin-red-line.com/projects.html

Quote
Bigelow Aerospace inflatable habitat

Genesis spacecraft flight hardware


Thin Red Line developed and supplied 20 full-fidelity inflatable pressure shells of up to 320 cubic meter volume for Bigelow Aerospace. Thin Red Line designed, engineered and manufactured the pressure restraining hulls of Genesis 1 and 2 (launched 7/2006 and 6/2007 respectively), the first spacecraft on orbit successfully incorporating large volume, high-stress inflatable architecture
« Last Edit: 06/13/2019 02:12 am by docmordrid »
DM

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #74 on: 06/13/2019 02:12 am »
all paper at this point.

Not exactly: Genesis I, Genesis II and BEAM.

All done before the most talented engineers left.
I'd be surprised if Bigalow can still step up; pleased, but surprised.

Looks like many of Bigelow's restraint layers were done by Thin Red Line in Chilliwack BC Canada.

http://www.thin-red-line.com/

http://www.thin-red-line.com/projects.html

Quote
Bigelow Aerospace inflatable habitat

Genesis spacecraft flight hardware


Thin Red Line developed and supplied 20 full-fidelity inflatable pressure shells of up to 320 cubic meter volume for Bigelow Aerospace. Thin Red Line designed, engineered and manufactured the pressure restraining hulls of Genesis 1 and 2 (launched 7/2006 and 6/2007 respectively), the first spacecraft on orbit successfully incorporating large volume, high-stress inflatable architecture
Thin Red Line makes inflatables like this for other folks, too.
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #75 on: 06/13/2019 02:23 am »
>
Looks like many of Bigelow's restraint layers were done by Thin Red Line in Chilliwack BC Canada.

http://www.thin-red-line.com/

http://www.thin-red-line.com/projects.html

Quote
Bigelow Aerospace inflatable habitat

Genesis spacecraft flight hardware


Thin Red Line developed and supplied 20 full-fidelity inflatable pressure shells of up to 320 cubic meter volume for Bigelow Aerospace. Thin Red Line designed, engineered and manufactured the pressure restraining hulls of Genesis 1 and 2 (launched 7/2006 and 6/2007 respectively), the first spacecraft on orbit successfully incorporating large volume, high-stress inflatable architecture
Thin Red Line makes inflatables like this for other folks, too.

AIUI, ILC Dover does SNC's LIFE, or did ILC-D sub it out to TRL?
DM

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #76 on: 06/13/2019 04:27 pm »
*snip*
I understand it as the seats they are reserving aren't for tourists, but would be for Bigelow employees who come to outfit a B330 on the ISS.

This is assuming that they either A. get the go-ahead from NASA for the XBASE, B. have an agreement with NASA to check out / outfit a private B330 at the ISS before separating it for their private space station, or C. win the Gateway habitat competition and put it together at the ISS before shifting it to the Gateway. Or possibly even some combination of the above.

Not sure how you arrived at that conclusion.
There is no evidence that B330 is anywhere near ready, and that single docking port has at least 2 other potential customers trying to get a piece of it with the upcoming competition.
XBASE was only ever intended as a test for NASA before it undocks to become its own independent station.

Quote
The next big question is when is this all going to happen? Once the SpaceX rocket and capsule are certified by NASA to fly people to the ISS, then this program can begin.

No mention of B330 or XBASE whatsoever. Pretty big omission if that is something they are depending on.



Personally I think this is the first good proposal/plan to come from Bigelow in a long time.  There will no doubt be a very steep learning curve to actually getting tourists up to any station, ISS or their own module. Depending on their own module just makes that exponentially harder.

If they can successfully pull off flying even a few tourists it legitimizes them as a company. This would further validate space tourism as a valid industry - the last orbital flight was a decade ago.
Geek wire reports that one competitor, Space Adventures, is in works to fly tourists on Starliner as the 5th seat: https://www.geekwire.com/2019/bigelow-aims-sell-rides-space-station-spacex-dragon-ships-52m-seat/

I am super skeptical of pretty much everything Bigelow does, but this a step to actually operating a legitimate business with paying customers beyond the niche market of space closets. If/when B330 launches it has a much higher chance of success if the mechanism to get customers there is actually proven out.

I'm not sure which part of what I said you are questioning? It sounds to me like you think this means they are just going to fly tourists to the ISS for the heck of it, which I suppose is possible as well.

I'm hoping this means they either pretty sure or are expectant of winning the Gateway habitat competition, or NASA is near to agreeing them to put XBASE (or a private B330) on the ISS.
"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 meekGee

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #77 on: 06/13/2019 07:38 pm »
all paper at this point.

Not exactly: Genesis I, Genesis II and BEAM.

All done before the most talented engineers left.
I'd be surprised if Bigalow can still step up; pleased, but surprised.

Looks like many of Bigelow's items were done by Thin Red Line in Chilliwack BC Canada.

http://www.thin-red-line.com/

http://www.thin-red-line.com/projects.html

Quote
Bigelow Aerospace inflatable habitat

Genesis spacecraft flight hardware


Thin Red Line developed and supplied 20 full-fidelity inflatable pressure shells of up to 320 cubic meter volume for Bigelow Aerospace. Thin Red Line designed, engineered and manufactured the pressure restraining hulls of Genesis 1 and 2 (launched 7/2006 and 6/2007 respectively), the first spacecraft on orbit successfully incorporating large volume, high-stress inflatable architecture
Figures.

The subcontractor train is an established fact in traditional aerospace, with the predictable outcome.

It's annoying when a "new space" company is established and immediately falls into the same pattern. 
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #78 on: 06/13/2019 11:07 pm »
*snip*

The subcontractor train is an established fact in traditional aerospace, with the predictable outcome.

It's annoying when a "new space" company is established and immediately falls into the same pattern.

It depends on the part, but it's almost always going to be cheaper and faster to subcontract out to someone who specializes in whatever part you need, rather than purchasing all the tooling, raw materials, hiring people with the know-how, and slowly build up your internal knowledge base to produce the part on your own.

Everyone subcontracts. Even SpaceX, though they do a substantial amount of work in-house.
"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 gongora

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (4)
« Reply #79 on: 06/13/2019 11:28 pm »
Is Bigelow still using Thin Red Line as a contractor?  There was a Space News article from 2014 that mentioned the earlier work but didn't make it sound like a current relationship.

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