Author Topic: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?  (Read 18038 times)

Offline envy887

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #60 on: 06/18/2018 02:13 PM »
Inflatables still allow much larger volumes, though. And BFR only makes them cheaper.

For example, a single BFR launch could lift a 140 tonne, 100 meter deflated Kevlar sphere with 3 mm thick walls (5x safety factor) and a 10 tonne docking port/service/propulsion module. It would take 5 BFR flights of liquid air tanks to pressurize it to 1 atmosphere, but then you have a volume equal to 635 BFSes or 1600 BA-330s. Figuring out how to manufacture that sounds like a Bigelow specialty.

It would take some outfitting to make that volume useful though, unless all you wanted was an orbital bouncy castle :)
I wholeheartedly agree that inflatables are in principle cheaper.
But, if your inflatable pricing is not in fact cheaper than just using a BFS (and bigelow hasn't shown any enthusiasm for massive cheap stations), you have a significant illogicality.
Even without inflatables, or on-orbit assembly, 8m diameter * 12m aluminium cylinders tested for several cycles of 140PSI is another obvious backstop to pricing, and it's reasonable to ask if bigelow modules will go anywhere.

Bigelow pricing assumes launch on Atlas V at $10,000/kg to LEO. They have not adjusted their pricing for BFR level launch costs, as far as I can tell. It probably doesn't make much sense for them to do that yet.

I think most of the cost and complexity comes from almost everything other than the inflatable part. Once they re-optimize mass, complexity, and cost against $100/kg to LEO, their prices should be very different.

Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: Bigelow Habs - How Big Will They Go? Where Will They Go?
« Reply #61 on: 06/18/2018 03:08 PM »
With so many things in space it's hard to judge what the proper price is and what is an issue of scaling.

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