Author Topic: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats  (Read 122041 times)

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #20 on: 03/30/2021 12:45 pm »
<snip>
All of this needs to be done by astronauts, in microgravity, and parts of it while wearing EVA suits.
<snip>

When the astronauts will be working inside a metal tank. EVA suit might be replaced with IVA type suits that could have umbilical connections. Eventually an utility pressure suit for working in vacuum and zero-G inside a spaceship will be needed.

Offline spacenut

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #21 on: 03/30/2021 03:48 pm »
It was originally proposed in he wet workshops, that a hatch opening be installed at the top of the upper tank.  Then when the second stage is launched with a habitat module attached to the upper tank and a docking hatch on the other end.  The habitat will be pressurized and ready for shirt sleeves.  Then, the upper tank released to vacuum of space with a valve then closed.  Once closed, the upper tank will be pressurized with air for the astronauts to breathe.  Then they open the hatch to the tank, go inside and begin constructing work places, exercise areas, storage areas, and experimental areas with components brought up on cargo flights.  Then they eventually have a huge habitat module. 

If the second stage is designed with a common bulkhead, another hatch can also be made between them, and the process repeated. 

This idea was floated around all the way back to the Atlas I days in the 1960's, since the entire 10' diameter rocket reached orbit.  Idea was to attach docking hatch to the nose of a spent Atlas rocket, purge, pressurize with air, and go inside and build a space station. 

Just because something may be hard don't mean it can't be done, instead of wasting large bulk tanks to burn up in the atmosphere.  Gives astronauts a lot of in space building experience for larger space stations, etc.
« Last Edit: 03/30/2021 03:50 pm by spacenut »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #22 on: 03/30/2021 04:13 pm »
It was originally proposed in he wet workshops, that a hatch opening be installed at the top of the upper tank.  Then when the second stage is launched with a habitat module attached to the upper tank and a docking hatch on the other end.  The habitat will be pressurized and ready for shirt sleeves.  Then, the upper tank released to vacuum of space with a valve then closed.  Once closed, the upper tank will be pressurized with air for the astronauts to breathe.  Then they open the hatch to the tank, go inside and begin constructing work places, exercise areas, storage areas, and experimental areas with components brought up on cargo flights.  Then they eventually have a huge habitat module. 

If the second stage is designed with a common bulkhead, another hatch can also be made between them, and the process repeated. 

This idea was floated around all the way back to the Atlas I days in the 1960's, since the entire 10' diameter rocket reached orbit.  Idea was to attach docking hatch to the nose of a spent Atlas rocket, purge, pressurize with air, and go inside and build a space station. 

Just because something may be hard don't mean it can't be done, instead of wasting large bulk tanks to burn up in the atmosphere.  Gives astronauts a lot of in space building experience for larger space stations, etc.

No, but you also have to realize that there are REAL reasons why wet workshops keep being dismissed, even though they idea is as old as spaceflight. It turns out that the difference between a tank and a habitat is a lot more than just a thin metal shell.

Like others have mentioned, *eventually* it could make sense, but I don't really see it happening any time soon. Or perhaps ever, for three reasons:
1. With the trend to full reusability comes less tanks being available, and the ones created for in-space use will likely be smaller. (We won't be seeing tanks the size of Shuttle external tanks being expended)
2. More capable and cheaper lift capacity to LEO (makes earth production of habitats even cheaper)
3. As in-space work becomes more normal, so does in-space manufacturing (why not built a habitat from scratch instead of adapting a tank that is sub-optimal)

Wet workshops become a solution in search of a problem for its proponents.

Offline Steve G

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #23 on: 03/30/2021 04:16 pm »
My understanding of the SIVb wet workshop, is when they were studying the concept, no Saturn Vs had been put aside for a space station. Cancelling the last three Apollos made the SV available, and they went with the dry workshop.

The cost of outfitting an empty New Glenn 2nd stage in space into a wet workshop would probably cost more than converting the second stage tanks into a dry workshop on the ground and launch it as payload. Of course, you would then have a second stage to dispose of.

Offline b0objunior

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #24 on: 03/30/2021 04:24 pm »
It was originally proposed in he wet workshops, that a hatch opening be installed at the top of the upper tank.  Then when the second stage is launched with a habitat module attached to the upper tank and a docking hatch on the other end.  The habitat will be pressurized and ready for shirt sleeves.  Then, the upper tank released to vacuum of space with a valve then closed.  Once closed, the upper tank will be pressurized with air for the astronauts to breathe.  Then they open the hatch to the tank, go inside and begin constructing work places, exercise areas, storage areas, and experimental areas with components brought up on cargo flights.  Then they eventually have a huge habitat module. 

If the second stage is designed with a common bulkhead, another hatch can also be made between them, and the process repeated. 

This idea was floated around all the way back to the Atlas I days in the 1960's, since the entire 10' diameter rocket reached orbit.  Idea was to attach docking hatch to the nose of a spent Atlas rocket, purge, pressurize with air, and go inside and build a space station. 

Just because something may be hard don't mean it can't be done, instead of wasting large bulk tanks to burn up in the atmosphere.  Gives astronauts a lot of in space building experience for larger space stations, etc.
I always thought this is what people talked when discussing wet workshop. A hatch and a pressurized atmosphere.

Offline tbellman

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #25 on: 03/30/2021 04:58 pm »
When the astronauts will be working inside a metal tank. EVA suit might be replaced with IVA type suits that could have umbilical connections. Eventually an utility pressure suit for working in vacuum and zero-G inside a spaceship will be needed.

There are more differences between EVA and IVA suits than if they have a built-in ECLS system or not.  IVA suits are designed to be (somewhat) comfortable while working in a pressurized environment, and give protection against vacuum in an emergency, but are not suitable(!) for working in a vacuum.  For example, they don't have the kind of joints needed to move without great effort when there is a vacuum on the outside.  So you definitely want an EVA type suit for working in vacuum, even when inside a spaceship.

(You could potentially ditch some parts of a traditional EVA suit if you are inside a protective hull, e.g. you wouldn't need MMOD protection, and the helmet visor would probably not need to protect against ultraviolet radiation, but such a suit would still be more similar to a traditional EVA suit than to an IVA suit.)

Offline tonya

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #26 on: 04/01/2021 01:24 pm »
I wonder if it would be better to use a different term to "wet workshop". One of the lessons of both Mir and the ISS is how much space is used just for storage.

Describing the space created as a workshop implies a level of complexity that may not be needed. My thought is that the habitat would be divided such that the dedicated section seen at the top is the only living and research area, with the hydrogen tank used just for storage. It would be a much simpler use of extra space, adapting it for storage in orbit could be done by lining the interior with large canvas bags.

The familiar arguments against a wet workshop station are less relevant, the wet part of the habitat is used much like the Leonardo module on the ISS.

Online trimeta

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #27 on: 04/01/2021 02:00 pm »
I wonder if it would be better to use a different term to "wet workshop". One of the lessons of both Mir and the ISS is how much space is used just for storage.

Describing the space created as a workshop implies a level of complexity that may not be needed. My thought is that the habitat would be divided such that the dedicated section seen at the top is the only living and research area, with the hydrogen tank used just for storage. It would be a much simpler use of extra space, adapting it for storage in orbit could be done by lining the interior with large canvas bags.

The familiar arguments against a wet workshop station are less relevant, the wet part of the habitat is used much like the Leonardo module on the ISS.

I wonder...if the "wet storage closet" has no ECLSS of its own, it's entirely reliant on systems from the attached "real" station, does that make it easier to retrofit in orbit? You'd probably want some fans to recirculate air regardless, as well as lighting and (therefore) electricity, so there's still some retrofitting, but maybe something that could be done in a shirtsleeves environment (perhaps with respirators to compensate for the not-fully-circulating air).

Offline tonya

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #28 on: 04/01/2021 03:15 pm »
I wonder...if the "wet storage closet" has no ECLSS of its own, it's entirely reliant on systems from the attached "real" station, does that make it easier to retrofit in orbit? You'd probably want some fans to recirculate air regardless, as well as lighting and (therefore) electricity, so there's still some retrofitting, but maybe something that could be done in a shirtsleeves environment (perhaps with respirators to compensate for the not-fully-circulating air).
Leonardo has no life support of its own. My starting point is imagining it as a larger version of that space, it would need whatever air circulation and cooling is necessary for one or two people at a time to be inside for part of their day. They wouldn't sleep, exercise or work in there beyond accessing and organising the contents. I'd hope with such limited requirements any outfitting would be equally limited, such as connecting hoses, fans and lights to fixture points positioned inside the tank during manufacture for them.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2021 03:18 pm by tonya »

Offline meekGee

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #29 on: 04/01/2021 04:48 pm »
The arguments against wet workshops are qualitative and decades old.  They are about as solid as the arguments that reuse doesn't pay or any other bits of common wisdom that have been proven wrong in the last decade.

That said, the reasonable path forward is reusable rockets where you just don't have a bunch of "free" fuel tanks in orbit..

Not generating waste is better than figuring out what to do with it...
« Last Edit: 04/01/2021 04:48 pm by meekGee »
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #30 on: 04/01/2021 05:09 pm »
Not generating waste is better than figuring out what to do with it...

THAT is the key. Fully reusability, such as what the SpaceX Starship transportation system promises, removes the need to convert leftover upper stages floating in space as junk - because there won't be any.

Quote
The arguments against wet workshops are qualitative and decades old.  They are about as solid as the arguments that reuse doesn't pay or any other bits of common wisdom that have been proven wrong in the last decade.

For myself, I've never stated that leftover space junk couldn't be repurposed. What my arguments have been based on is the ROI for doing extensive rehab in space vs just building what you need and shipping it to space. The most amount of cost in a space habitat is not in the outer structure, it is in the careful and safe outfitting of everything inside of that structure. And the least expensive place to do that outfitting is on Earth - at least for the next couple of decades. And if money has a say (and it usually does), outfitting in space won't make sense.

Quote
That said, the reasonable path forward is reusable rockets where you just don't have a bunch of "free" fuel tanks in orbit..

Yep, yet another reason to cheer on SpaceX - if we needed yet another one...  ;)
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline tonya

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #31 on: 04/01/2021 06:54 pm »
It would be better if the SpaceX comparisons stayed in one of the many SpaceX forum sections.
A proposal can be discussed and speculated upon by itself, the alternative has made for some terrible threads.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #32 on: 04/05/2021 04:06 am »
I think it could work as an hybrid: integrate a whole habitational module to the upper stage. You could probably add some extra external protection, solder sails and such to the US tank. So they could work from the fully functional and powered payload half.
The question, of course, is if so much work and customization is worth to get the extra volume. I would assume it wouldn’t.

Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #33 on: 04/05/2021 07:25 am »
I think it could work as an hybrid: integrate a whole habitational module to the upper stage. You could probably add some extra external protection, solder sails and such to the US tank. So they could work from the fully functional and powered payload half.
The question, of course, is if so much work and customization is worth to get the extra volume. I would assume it wouldn’t.

Well if you can minimize the changes enough, then it's work keeping the upper stage around just as something you might expand into later.
 
This seems like a good time to remind everyone that the one render we have of a Blue Origin LEO habitat looks like this:


They were kind of already on top of this "hybrid" thing.
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline tonya

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #34 on: 04/05/2021 05:24 pm »
For the purpose of size comparison, here's one of the ISS nodes pasted onto the same picture at roughly the correct relative scale.

It's a big habitat, the hydrogen tank has been estimated in the New Glenn thread at around 500m³, the conventional upper half looks at least the same. It's the volume of the ISS in one launch.

Offline Yiosie

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #35 on: 09/04/2021 07:42 pm »
Cross-post:

An interesting post today from Robert Gitten, a Systems Engineer-Advanced Development Programs at Blue. Along with a bunch of job postings:
https://twitter.com/radishesonmars/status/1433486091126919170?s=20

Offline su27k

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #36 on: 10/21/2021 11:11 am »
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1450897215204044815

Quote
Blue Origin is looking to hire for a variety of roles on its "Orbital Destinations" team, specifically to build a "flight unit" under NASA's Commercial LEO Destinations program:

"We are building the next space station."

Offline jebbo

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #37 on: 10/22/2021 05:38 pm »
Given they're recruiting to build flight hardware, are there any up to date renders (or even descriptions)? All I've seen is a few ancient PowerPoint slides ...

--- Tony

Online deadman1204

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #38 on: 10/22/2021 09:15 pm »
Given they're recruiting to build flight hardware, are there any up to date renders (or even descriptions)? All I've seen is a few ancient PowerPoint slides ...

--- Tony

I wouldn't take that ad too literally.  They have nothing more than a concept right now. Flight hardware is many years off

Offline Hug

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Re: Blue Origin Orbital Habitats
« Reply #39 on: 10/24/2021 02:15 am »
As far as a project for Blue Origin to do in their goal of a Road to Space this is probably one of the better ones. Highly capital intensive with very long horizon. Basically essential for their vision.
I suspect that Boeing will be providing the PPE for the station (or something similar). I've also heard that they're committing quite a bit of capital to achieve this. Especially now that Commercial LEO Development  is now looking at getting fully funded; they're in a good spot to get 1 of the 4 potential CLD contracts.

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