Author Topic: Bigelow and ULA Announce Agreement to Place a B330 Hab in Low Lunar Orbit  (Read 26867 times)


Offline whitelancer64

"The B330 would launch to Low Earth Orbit on a Vulcan 562 configuration rocket, the only commercial launch vehicle in development today with sufficient performance and a large enough payload fairing to carry the habitat. Once the B330 is in orbit, Bigelow Aerospace will outfit the habitat and demonstrate it is working properly.  Once the B330 is fully operational, ULA’s industry-unique distributed lift capability would be used to send the B330 to lunar orbit.  Distributed lift would also utilize two more Vulcan ACES launches, each carrying 35 tons of cryogenic propellant to low Earth orbit.  In LEO, all of the cryogenic propellant would be transferred to one of the Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage (ACES). The now full ACES would then rendezvous with the B330 and perform multiple maneuvers to deliver the B330 to its final position in Low Lunar Orbit."

That's an ambitious plan. I presume actually moving it to LLO would involve NASA funding / international agreements to move forward on that.
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Online gongora

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So is Bigelow paying the half-billion dollars for this launch?

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Snap! I put this on the Bigelow thread :)

Yes, I think funding must be key:

I'd like to get excited by the announcement but there's no mention of funding.

I believe Bigelow are self-funding construction and launch(?) of a BA330, but I can't imagine them sending it to the moon without some external funding/customer?

Offline TrevorMonty

3 x lauanches.
X1 to place B330 in LEO, where it is commissioned.
X2 Distributed launch of ACES US, No2 fills No3 which then delivers B330 to LLO.

No mention of human transport system. Orion can't get to LLO and return using SLS. Vulcan with Distributed Launch could deliver it either from LEO or DSG to LLO. Orion service module has enough DV for LLO-earth return. Rough calculations suggest a ACES in LEO with 30t fuel could make LEO-DSG trip then pickup Orion and deliver it to LLO. So for 1xSLS launch + 1xVulcan Orion could make it to LLO.

 There was ULA paper from few years ago showing Orion capsule (no service module) on ACES. Without SM ACES would be needed for return trip.
« Last Edit: 10/17/2017 03:02 PM by TrevorMonty »

Online nacnud

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LLO isn't stable... right? So er, what?

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Quote
Robert Bigelow‏ @RobertTBigelow 59s59 seconds ago

Re. Lunar Depot: Capital has been flowing from both companies and will continue.

https://twitter.com/RobertTBigelow/status/920306153493381120

Quote
Robert Bigelow‏ @RobertTBigelow 47s47 seconds ago

NASA & this  country will need to have investment also to pay for the benefits.

https://twitter.com/RobertTBigelow/status/920306215086731264

Offline topo334

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Could we get a kilo of whatever ULA/Bigelow are smoking?

Offline saliva_sweet

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Could we get a kilo of whatever ULA/Bigelow are smoking?

A gram of this stuff will kill an elephant.

Offline meberbs

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LLO isn't stable... right? So er, what?
They presumably would put it in one of the frozen orbits.

Also, I put my comments in the Bigelow thread.

Online nacnud

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Damn, I forgot about them.

Offline carmelo

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Online ThereIWas3

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I would not spend too much time thinking about Bigelow.  It is the hobby of a rich guy with no aerospace experience.  Employee turnover is very high.
"If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea" - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Offline Khadgars

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I would not spend too much time thinking about Bigelow.  It is the hobby of a rich guy with no aerospace experience.  Employee turnover is very high.

Careful, same thing was said of SpaceX.  Differences for sure, but they have a working prototype on the ISS as we speak.

Offline Basto

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“The B330 would launch to Low Earth Orbit on a Vulcan 562 configuration rocket, the only commercial launch vehicle in development today with sufficient performance and a large enough payload fairing to carry the habitat.”

This is just blatantly false.

Offline meberbs

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“The B330 would launch to Low Earth Orbit on a Vulcan 562 configuration rocket, the only commercial launch vehicle in development today with sufficient performance and a large enough payload fairing to carry the habitat.”

This is just blatantly false.
Yes, I mentioned this in the Bigelow thread, BFR and New Glenn both are capable and in development. (SLS excluded by the commercial qualifier)

Offline okan170

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This actually is pretty much the most detailed depiction of the B330 design I've seen yet.  For the first time, the solar arrays and radiators look more proportional to the needs of a spacecraft that size and there are a lot of specific details that are a lot more defined than the previous models.

Offline DOCinCT

Assuming SpaceX BFR is flying by the the NET 2022 lunch of 2-3 Vulcan rockets (expendable), plus an Orion/SLS (expendable) plus multiple Falcon 9/Dragons (partially reusable)
why not do it in two launches of the BFR (fully reusable)?

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Some quotes from Mr Bigelow:

Quote
Here’s how a Las Vegas millionaire plans to build an orbiting space station for the moon
By Christian Davenport
October 17 at 2:21 PM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/10/17/heres-how-a-las-vegas-millionaire-plans-to-build-an-orbiting-space-station-for-the-moon/
« Last Edit: 10/17/2017 07:02 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline GWH

This is a good early announcement for ULA of an actual mission that ACES & distributed lift would be capable of, and most importantly an alternative to the massive single lift architecture of something like SLS.

Also while distributed lift is shown exclusively (its easy to grasp), this to me looks like an ideal opportunity to establish a market for transferring excess prop from commercial or space station missions to top of the departure stage at a considerable overall cost savings.


Assuming SpaceX BFR is flying by the the NET 2022 lunch of 2-3 Vulcan rockets (expendable), plus an Orion/SLS (expendable) plus multiple Falcon 9/Dragons (partially reusable)
why not do it in two launches of the BFR (fully reusable)?

Has there been any indications of the BFR being marketed? Hard to propose the use of something that is in flux and only recently presented in its current form.

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