Author Topic: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)  (Read 522292 times)

Online Nate_Trost

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1440 on: 02/22/2018 03:04 PM »
BA330 seems like it would be a piece of cake for New Glenn.

The bigger issue is I still don't see how BA330 is even ready to fly by 2021. I'm skeptical Bigelow actually has the resources to develop it, which is something which wasn't as readily apparent when development was held up by the lack of a manned launch provider, or launch vehicles which could economically orbit a larger station design.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1441 on: 02/23/2018 06:41 AM »
BA330 seems like it would be a piece of cake for New Glenn.

The bigger issue is I still don't see how BA330 is even ready to fly by 2021. I'm skeptical Bigelow actually has the resources to develop it, which is something which wasn't as readily apparent when development was held up by the lack of a manned launch provider, or launch vehicles which could economically orbit a larger station design.

When is Bigelow expected to comply with its NextSTEP agreement and deliver a ground prototype B300 to NASA?

Offline Comga

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1442 on: 02/24/2018 08:48 PM »
I've already concluded that Bigelow do not really have their act together. Robert Bigelow picked the wrong horse some time ago[1], and designing modules without regard for what could launch them, so that none of them are sized to max out a payload fairing of some commercial launcher? Maybe I am the only person who thinks this.

1 - Not figuring out how to ally with Elon, purveyor of the cheapest launches, was dumb.

You're not the only one. I love his station designs but they are unlaunchable. He needs SLS but I doubt even he can foot that launch bill.

Iím with Lar.
And whatís to love?
A size that doesnít fit in the volume available in the smaller of the current (more than PowerPoint) launchers?
Mock-ups of no particular distinction?
Structural envelopes with no visible progress in power or life support systems?
No employees not named Bigelow who have remained with the company over the decade and a half?
Still no one making any public statement of commitment?
An alliance with CASIS?
I was pretty enthusiastic about Bigelow in 2004. Encouraged my engineering intern to apply for a job, which gave her great experience. But there are fundamental, structural reasons they have made little progress in a dozen years.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online meekGee

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1443 on: 02/24/2018 09:56 PM »
I've already concluded that Bigelow do not really have their act together. Robert Bigelow picked the wrong horse some time ago[1], and designing modules without regard for what could launch them, so that none of them are sized to max out a payload fairing of some commercial launcher? Maybe I am the only person who thinks this.

1 - Not figuring out how to ally with Elon, purveyor of the cheapest launches, was dumb.

You're not the only one. I love his station designs but they are unlaunchable. He needs SLS but I doubt even he can foot that launch bill.

Iím with Lar.
And whatís to love?
A size that doesnít fit in the volume available in the smaller of the current (more than PowerPoint) launchers?
Mock-ups of no particular distinction?
Structural envelopes with no visible progress in power or life support systems?
No employees not named Bigelow who have remained with the company over the decade and a half?
Still no one making any public statement of commitment?
An alliance with CASIS?
I was pretty enthusiastic about Bigelow in 2004. Encouraged my engineering intern to apply for a job, which gave her great experience. But there are fundamental, structural reasons they have made little progress in a dozen years.

With a company like this, you can't separate the founder/CEO from the corporate entity.
Start there.
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Offline deruch

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1444 on: 03/02/2018 10:17 AM »
An alliance with CASIS?

This and the language in their release talking about facilitating payload integration makes me think that maybe they are talking to CASIS about outfitting BEAM with a test rack or locker of some sort. 
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Online rockets4life97

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1445 on: 03/02/2018 01:00 PM »
Question: Am I right in thinking it will take multiple launches to get B330 setup? 1 to put the module up and then several more to bring up the necessary inside equipment (not to mention crew to move things around).

Offline ChefPat

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1446 on: 07/10/2018 02:17 PM »
Question: Am I right in thinking it will take multiple launches to get B330 setup? 1 to put the module up and then several more to bring up the necessary inside equipment (not to mention crew to move things around).
Yes, that is correct. It'll take at least one resupply flight to bring up water, fuel & other consumables.
Playing Politics with Commercial Crew is Un-American!!!

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1447 on: 08/28/2018 07:12 PM »
Has Bigelow announced (or has anyone come forward as) the primary customer(s) for the B330 that they got a ULA contract for an Atlas launch in 2020?
"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 Tomness

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1448 on: 08/28/2018 08:30 PM »
Has Bigelow announced (or has anyone come forward as) the primary customer(s) for the B330 that they got a ULA contract for an Atlas launch in 2020?

They are trying to sell it to NASA as XBASE, but so is AXIOM, I hope there is enough money for both, or they both come up with money make it truly private/public partnership, they could have AXIOM & Bigelow at ISS till 2025-2028 and prove them both out & then send them on their way for Future Commercial Station or Stations

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1449 on: 08/28/2018 08:35 PM »
Has Bigelow announced (or has anyone come forward as) the primary customer(s) for the B330 that they got a ULA contract for an Atlas launch in 2020?

They are trying to sell it to NASA as XBASE, but so is AXIOM, I hope there is enough money for both, or they both come up with money make it truly private/public partnership, they could have AXIOM & Bigelow at ISS till 2025-2028 and prove them both out & then send them on their way for Future Commercial Station or Stations

this is the key to opening up space flight...or one of them.  unless we make a success out of ISS we are going nowhere in space

Offline ThereIWas3

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1450 on: 08/28/2018 08:55 PM »
I do not see why Bigelow could not redesign the BA330 a little smaller to fit the available launchers.  Other than his ego of course, which is said to be rather large.  BA employees are used to random changes of directrion from the corner office.
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Offline whitelancer64

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1451 on: 08/28/2018 08:55 PM »
Has Bigelow announced (or has anyone come forward as) the primary customer(s) for the B330 that they got a ULA contract for an Atlas launch in 2020?

They are trying to sell it to NASA as XBASE, but so is AXIOM, I hope there is enough money for both, or they both come up with money make it truly private/public partnership, they could have AXIOM & Bigelow at ISS till 2025-2028 and prove them both out & then send them on their way for Future Commercial Station or Stations

XBASE is a different thing. It's part of NASA's NextSTEP Hab module development program.

Axiom isn't the only competing proposal out there, there are 6 total providers that are part of NextSTEP phase 2 (building a prototype) and are hoping to be selected for phase 3 (building a flight module): Bigelow (XBASE), Boeing (with a standard ISS-like module), Lockheed Martin (a modified MPLM), Orbital ATK (an expanded Cygnus), Sierra Nevada (another inflatable habitat), and NanoRacks (the Ixion ("wet workshop" Centaur)).

Whoever is selected for phase 3 would likely have a flight module tested out 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 Joseph Peterson

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1452 on: 08/29/2018 09:11 PM »
Has Bigelow announced (or has anyone come forward as) the primary customer(s) for the B330 that they got a ULA contract for an Atlas launch in 2020?

They are trying to sell it to NASA as XBASE, but so is AXIOM, I hope there is enough money for both, or they both come up with money make it truly private/public partnership, they could have AXIOM & Bigelow at ISS till 2025-2028 and prove them both out & then send them on their way for Future Commercial Station or Stations

XBASE is a different thing. It's part of NASA's NextSTEP Hab module development program.

Axiom isn't the only competing proposal out there, there are 6 total providers that are part of NextSTEP phase 2 (building a prototype) and are hoping to be selected for phase 3 (building a flight module): Bigelow (XBASE), Boeing (with a standard ISS-like module), Lockheed Martin (a modified MPLM), Orbital ATK (an expanded Cygnus), Sierra Nevada (another inflatable habitat), and NanoRacks (the Ixion ("wet workshop" Centaur)).

Whoever is selected for phase 3 would likely have a flight module tested out on the ISS.

What are the physical differences between XBASE(Expandable Bigelow Advanced Station Enhancement)[1] and any other B330 that Bigelow might be building? 

In lieu of any known other customers for B330, it is logical to question how much effort Bigelow is investing into non-XBASE B330 development.  We can definitely say that XBASE is the Bigelow expandable module thanks to its acronym.  Thanks to the brief description we know that XBASE is a 330 cubic meter pressure vessel, or the same size as a B330.  The B330 propulsion system will need a few tens of meters per second to enter and depart the KOS(keep out sphere) to meet the visiting vehicle requirement.  Based on the artwork, marketing materials, and images of mockups, this is well within the capability of a B330.  I am interested to know specifics about how you can definitely say XBASE isn't basically a B330 by another name.

It would seem to me that if the only significant difference between XBASE and and any other B330 is the name, Bigelow has flight hardware which will be ready to launch in 2020, and, NASA can find the money soon enough to pay for it all, the 2020 launch could be used for XBASE.  My understanding is that XBASE is able to depart ISS and function as a free-flying station once the module is flight proven, freeing the port for the next major module.  From various comments buried in these forums, it appears the testing profile for a free-flight B330 included up to 18 months of uncrewed testing, followed by a crewed testing program penciled in for a similar time frame.  Assuming this testing profile can be reduced by temporary ISS crew occupation, a plausible NET departure date would be 2022.  This fits rather well with the NET launch dates for other NextSTEP participants.  This is actually an attractive path in my opinion.  I can't rule out supporting using the existing 2020 Atlas V launch for XBASE, should the stars align.

[1] https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nextstep-partnerships-develop-ground-prototypes
If ZBLAN can't pay for commercial stations, we'll just have to keep looking until we find other products that can combine to support humans earning a living in space.

Offline Beittil

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1453 on: 08/30/2018 02:43 PM »
That is quite a long testing period if you ask me. Looking at how BEAM has been performing it wouldn't surprise me if that could be shortened. I mean, BEAM wasn't even at the station for a year when it was already noted how well it performed and turned into a full ISS module!

To go from a 2 year experiment to something like that for up to 6 years in orbit... wow :D Gives me good hopes regarding using this tech in the XBASE/BA-330.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1454 on: 08/30/2018 03:49 PM »
Has Bigelow announced (or has anyone come forward as) the primary customer(s) for the B330 that they got a ULA contract for an Atlas launch in 2020?

They are trying to sell it to NASA as XBASE, but so is AXIOM, I hope there is enough money for both, or they both come up with money make it truly private/public partnership, they could have AXIOM & Bigelow at ISS till 2025-2028 and prove them both out & then send them on their way for Future Commercial Station or Stations

XBASE is a different thing. It's part of NASA's NextSTEP Hab module development program.

Axiom isn't the only competing proposal out there, there are 6 total providers that are part of NextSTEP phase 2 (building a prototype) and are hoping to be selected for phase 3 (building a flight module): Bigelow (XBASE), Boeing (with a standard ISS-like module), Lockheed Martin (a modified MPLM), Orbital ATK (an expanded Cygnus), Sierra Nevada (another inflatable habitat), and NanoRacks (the Ixion ("wet workshop" Centaur)).

Whoever is selected for phase 3 would likely have a flight module tested out on the ISS.

What are the physical differences between XBASE(Expandable Bigelow Advanced Station Enhancement)[1] and any other B330 that Bigelow might be building? 

I doubt anyone outside of the people working on XBASE at Bigelow could tell you. But the Bigelow website describes XBASE as a "mission specific" B330.

http://bigelowaerospace.com/pages/b330/

Quote
In lieu of any known other customers for B330, it is logical to question how much effort Bigelow is investing into non-XBASE B330 development.  We can definitely say that XBASE is the Bigelow expandable module thanks to its acronym.  Thanks to the brief description we know that XBASE is a 330 cubic meter pressure vessel, or the same size as a B330.  The B330 propulsion system will need a few tens of meters per second to enter and depart the KOS(keep out sphere) to meet the visiting vehicle requirement.  Based on the artwork, marketing materials, and images of mockups, this is well within the capability of a B330.  I am interested to know specifics about how you can definitely say XBASE isn't basically a B330 by another name.

I presume that most of the development work they are doing for XBASE will be rolled into future B330s. Bigelow might as well do that on NASA's dime right?

Quote
It would seem to me that if the only significant difference between XBASE and and any other B330 is the name, Bigelow has flight hardware which will be ready to launch in 2020, and, NASA can find the money soon enough to pay for it all, the 2020 launch could be used for XBASE.  My understanding is that XBASE is able to depart ISS and function as a free-flying station once the module is flight proven, freeing the port for the next major module.  From various comments buried in these forums, it appears the testing profile for a free-flight B330 included up to 18 months of uncrewed testing, followed by a crewed testing program penciled in for a similar time frame.  Assuming this testing profile can be reduced by temporary ISS crew occupation, a plausible NET departure date would be 2022.  This fits rather well with the NET launch dates for other NextSTEP participants.  This is actually an attractive path in my opinion.  I can't rule out supporting using the existing 2020 Atlas V launch for XBASE, should the stars align.

[1] https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nextstep-partnerships-develop-ground-prototypes

This doesn't follow for me. Launches of NASA projects are usually contracted out through NASA LSP.

It would be very, very unusual - in fact, unprecedented, as far as I know - for a privately contracted launch for another project to be used to launch something for NASA.

Plus there's no guarantee that XBASE will be selected for flight in NASA's Hab development program.
« Last Edit: 08/31/2018 08:55 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

Online ChrisWilson68

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1455 on: 08/31/2018 08:26 AM »
Has Bigelow announced (or has anyone come forward as) the primary customer(s) for the B330 that they got a ULA contract for an Atlas launch in 2020?

They are trying to sell it to NASA as XBASE, but so is AXIOM, I hope there is enough money for both, or they both come up with money make it truly private/public partnership, they could have AXIOM & Bigelow at ISS till 2025-2028 and prove them both out & then send them on their way for Future Commercial Station or Stations

this is the key to opening up space flight...or one of them.  unless we make a success out of ISS we are going nowhere in space

There are all kinds of possible scenarios in which ISS fails but we end up expanding out into space.  SpaceX's Mars plans, for example, don't have anything to do with whether or not ISS fails.  Even if SpaceX's Mars plans fail, if the BFR/BFS portion of those plans succeed, we'll do well in space even if ISS fails.

Offline Joseph Peterson

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1456 on: 09/01/2018 01:15 AM »
I doubt anyone outside of the people working on XBASE at Bigelow could tell you. But the Bigelow website describes XBASE as a "mission specific" B330.

"Mission specific" is vague.  For all we know there is no hardware difference between XBASE and any other B330.  Then again, there may be minor or major differences.

Quote
I presume that most of the development work they are doing for XBASE will be rolled into future B330s. Bigelow might as well do that on NASA's dime right?

Agreed.  Launch costs to a free-flying module alone will require hundreds of millions during the testing phase.

Quote
This doesn't follow for me. Launches of NASA projects are usually contracted out through NASA LSP.

It would be very, very unusual - in fact, unprecedented, as far as I know - for a privately contracted launch for another project to be used to launch something for NASA.

I do not understand what point you are trying to make.  Why can't NASA LSP contract with Bigelow Space Operations to deliver XBASE to ISS?  ULA would be BSO's subcontractor who provides the launch vehicle.  Similarly Bigelow Areospace is the subcontractor providing the B330.

Quote
Plus there's no guarantee that XBASE will be selected for flight in NASA's Hab development program.

True, but there is also no guarantee XBASE won't be selected.  There simply isn't enough publicly available information to say either way.  If Bigelow will indeed have a flight-ready B330 available in 2020, mission specific only requires minor modifications, Congress allocates sufficient funding, and there aren't sufficient customers for a free-flying module, it makes sense to consider using the existing hardware and launch for XBASE. 
If ZBLAN can't pay for commercial stations, we'll just have to keep looking until we find other products that can combine to support humans earning a living in space.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1457 on: 09/04/2018 04:37 PM »
I doubt anyone outside of the people working on XBASE at Bigelow could tell you. But the Bigelow website describes XBASE as a "mission specific" B330.

"Mission specific" is vague.  For all we know there is no hardware difference between XBASE and any other B330.  Then again, there may be minor or major differences.

Quote
I presume that most of the development work they are doing for XBASE will be rolled into future B330s. Bigelow might as well do that on NASA's dime right?

Agreed.  Launch costs to a free-flying module alone will require hundreds of millions during the testing phase.

Quote
This doesn't follow for me. Launches of NASA projects are usually contracted out through NASA LSP.

It would be very, very unusual - in fact, unprecedented, as far as I know - for a privately contracted launch for another project to be used to launch something for NASA.

I do not understand what point you are trying to make.  Why can't NASA LSP contract with Bigelow Space Operations to deliver XBASE to ISS?  ULA would be BSO's subcontractor who provides the launch vehicle.  Similarly Bigelow Areospace is the subcontractor providing the B330.

Quote
Plus there's no guarantee that XBASE will be selected for flight in NASA's Hab development program.

True, but there is also no guarantee XBASE won't be selected.  There simply isn't enough publicly available information to say either way.  If Bigelow will indeed have a flight-ready B330 available in 2020, mission specific only requires minor modifications, Congress allocates sufficient funding, and there aren't sufficient customers for a free-flying module, it makes sense to consider using the existing hardware and launch for XBASE.

Sure, NASA LSP could work through Bigelow to get a launch for XBASE - that's effectively what they do with SpaceX - but why would either NASA LSP or Bigelow want to take a launch vehicle away from a privately contracted launch? There doesn't seem to be any benefit to anyone involved.

I'm not a lawyer, much less an expert in contract laws, but based on what I know, it seems dubious on legal grounds. ULA, Bigelow, and NASA LSP would all have to come together and agree to change an existing launch contract do it.

As far as I can tell it would be unprecedented.

The far more likely option is that NASA LSP procures the launch normally. That way nobody is in any danger of breaking a contract. Bigelow also doesn't lose its private launch for the B330.
"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 TripleSeven

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1458 on: 09/04/2018 05:30 PM »
Has Bigelow announced (or has anyone come forward as) the primary customer(s) for the B330 that they got a ULA contract for an Atlas launch in 2020?

They are trying to sell it to NASA as XBASE, but so is AXIOM, I hope there is enough money for both, or they both come up with money make it truly private/public partnership, they could have AXIOM & Bigelow at ISS till 2025-2028 and prove them both out & then send them on their way for Future Commercial Station or Stations

this is the key to opening up space flight...or one of them.  unless we make a success out of ISS we are going nowhere in space

There are all kinds of possible scenarios in which ISS fails but we end up expanding out into space.  SpaceX's Mars plans, for example, don't have anything to do with whether or not ISS fails.  Even if SpaceX's Mars plans fail, if the BFR/BFS portion of those plans succeed, we'll do well in space even if ISS fails.

I dont agree with that.  At some point to expand humans out into space one has to create an economy in space that humans are a part of that has value above the cost. 

ISS is an attempt at that and it has consumed billions in an effort to make that work.  Now part of the failure is that those billions have been spent "mostly" (not all commercial cargo crew is an exception) government to government...but if ISS deorbits we will be left with the reality that hundreds of billions were spent to try and get a perm presence in space and THAT economy failed.

If we cannot create an economy "off our shore" or even "in the other side of the continent" in terms of the space station or the moon...its unclear to me that we can create one where travel times are measured in years.

If the space station fail is iis unlikely that 1) the US government will try again at least for long periods and 2) that private enterprise will be successful in that endeavor.  I know the "joy" about Mars/SpaceX/BFR but that is a very very long gamble...and sitting from a position where both SpaceX and Boeing are struggling to fly 3 people into orbit...it gets longer to me at least every day.  And it is not possible for a private company to create an economy withou the government involved, inmy view.

The reality is that the three space faring nations are 50 years (almost) after Apollo11 at a near standstill.  The Russians are on the verge of dropping out, the Chinese seem to just be doing it to do it...and the US ....has no real policy in terms of making space more than a government cost center.

Thats bad.


Online RonM

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Re: Bigelow Aerospace Update and Discussion Thread (3)
« Reply #1459 on: 09/04/2018 06:40 PM »
Has Bigelow announced (or has anyone come forward as) the primary customer(s) for the B330 that they got a ULA contract for an Atlas launch in 2020?

They are trying to sell it to NASA as XBASE, but so is AXIOM, I hope there is enough money for both, or they both come up with money make it truly private/public partnership, they could have AXIOM & Bigelow at ISS till 2025-2028 and prove them both out & then send them on their way for Future Commercial Station or Stations

this is the key to opening up space flight...or one of them.  unless we make a success out of ISS we are going nowhere in space

There are all kinds of possible scenarios in which ISS fails but we end up expanding out into space.  SpaceX's Mars plans, for example, don't have anything to do with whether or not ISS fails.  Even if SpaceX's Mars plans fail, if the BFR/BFS portion of those plans succeed, we'll do well in space even if ISS fails.

I dont agree with that.  At some point to expand humans out into space one has to create an economy in space that humans are a part of that has value above the cost. 

ISS is an attempt at that and it has consumed billions in an effort to make that work.  Now part of the failure is that those billions have been spent "mostly" (not all commercial cargo crew is an exception) government to government...but if ISS deorbits we will be left with the reality that hundreds of billions were spent to try and get a perm presence in space and THAT economy failed.

If we cannot create an economy "off our shore" or even "in the other side of the continent" in terms of the space station or the moon...its unclear to me that we can create one where travel times are measured in years.

If the space station fail is iis unlikely that 1) the US government will try again at least for long periods and 2) that private enterprise will be successful in that endeavor.  I know the "joy" about Mars/SpaceX/BFR but that is a very very long gamble...and sitting from a position where both SpaceX and Boeing are struggling to fly 3 people into orbit...it gets longer to me at least every day.  And it is not possible for a private company to create an economy withou the government involved, inmy view.

The reality is that the three space faring nations are 50 years (almost) after Apollo11 at a near standstill.  The Russians are on the verge of dropping out, the Chinese seem to just be doing it to do it...and the US ....has no real policy in terms of making space more than a government cost center.

Thats bad.

ISS is a government cost center. It was not designed to be profitable but to do research. It's up to business to use the lessons learned from ISS to create a space economy, not the Federal Government. The government could help follow up commercial space stations by being an anchor tenant. Business still needs to figure out what to do next.

Using ISS to test a Bigelow XBASE module would be a big boost. Once it's detached from ISS and becomes a free flying space station, then it's up to Bigelow to make it work.

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