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Bigelow technology

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:34 pm
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Bigelow technology 
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Post Bigelow technology   Posted on: Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:34 pm
after spending most of the day reading articles on bigelow's plans i thought id start a conversation on it. The technology looks amazing to start things off, anyone disagree with this?

The space station
I keep seeing this giant circular shape kind of orange in colour and this is the only pic i have of a final product. Surely it will not just be that will it? will it have rooms? how will the wires and computers work in a baloon without causing problems or sparking off and puncturing it?
will it be hard material? so how strong compared to the ISS? i wouldnt want to be on one of those when a meteorite shower passes!!!! would imagine ud be scared for your life? i know its a realy stupid thing to say but knowone seems to give me answers on how any of this will work!? will there be rooms in it? or will it be one large orange room all around you, gotta say ud get quite bored! could you dock it to other stations similar to itself? how will it move up to keep in orbit, even the iss has to be boosted from time to time no? surely an engine would spell DISASTER? POP.

Using the technology somewhere else?

Just thinking this would be absolutely amazing if you could dig a giant whole in the ground and sort of inflate one of these mosuled inside it, as a room inside the moon!!!? would that not be great? surely it would be safe from rocks flying around and giant robots on the surface? ibecause iotr inflates could it not almost mold into the shape of thw whole?, then you could create giant rooms underground safe and sound!
Next has to be on mars, if it works on the moon it has to be able to work on mars right, under ground in the safe away from radiation and very strong, hopefully reliable too!!!

anyone have anything to add?
Rob

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:51 am
I dont think you could bury a Bigelow inflatable, the weight of the regolith would colapse it. They are designed to rely on their internal pressure to hold their shape, even if you buried them just below the surface the weight of the regolith pushing against the sides would be more than the internal pressure (I think I've seen this to be about 10lb square inch).

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:03 am
What if the regolith around the inflatable simply would be secured like a mine on Earth? Then the inflatable would have to hold the weight of the regolith because other equipment would do that and this equipment woulkd be specialised for this purpose.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:24 am
If you have to go to the trouble of putting bracing in to hold back the regolith, you might as well construct your base from it and cover the face of the regolith with an airtight sealant to create a void.

After you've made your braced hole spray the walls using an electrostatic spay gun and let the sealant cure to form a usable space. This process would have an advantage of being able to make more complex shaped holes to accomodate irregular equipment. Bigelows inflatables all have curved surfaces.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:57 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
electrostatic spay gun.

That must really hurt.

DKH

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:29 pm
They are used for powder coating and the person doing the spaying is insulated from the fine particles which have a charge and are attracted to the object by an opposite charge on the surface. I guess a spacesuit would count as insulation.

I'm not sure it would even work in a vacuum to be honest but I'm guessing it will. Failing that there is always a brush or roller, you could do changing rooms on the moon;- Lawrence Lewellyn-Bowen in a purple crushed velvet spacesuit. Somebody float the idea with the BBC and see if they're interested. :)

just noticed the spelling mistake, it would certainly solve the problem of transporting water to the lunar surface with all the tears in would create :)

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:29 am
Andy Hill wrote:
I'm not sure it would even work in a vacuum to be honest but I'm guessing it will.

It would work.

DKH

(spaying or spraying)

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Post    Posted on: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:22 am
Here's a nice article on Bigelow's inflatable, it gives a few more details on how they will be configured. It mentions a multi-directional propulsion unit (MDPU) that can be docked on one end of an inflatable to boost the altitude in orbit, it also says that this could be used to send the inflatable on a trip to the moon and back. If you docked a small descent/ascent vehicle on the other end of the inflatable you would have yourself a cheap CEV to go exploring the lunar surface. Interesting eh? :)

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviation/a ... 51,00.html

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Post    Posted on: Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:21 pm
It's triggering the question "When is an artificial object in space a space station and when not?".

Nothing in space is without movement seen from Earth except sun and some quasars. But the term "station" menas "without movement". So the definition might be required to be revised to "without artificial movement". But this in turn would mean that a spacecraft on its path to another planet would be a station if the engines are shutdowned. This is valid too if something is orbiting a planet or a star with shutdowned engines.

Perhaps only those artificial objects should be called stations thta don't have their own engines and the engines that can be docked to Bigelow's inflatables are simply carriers or transporters but not parts of the inflatables.

Space seems to be requiring redefinitions of things...



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Post    Posted on: Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:30 pm
Are these musings anything at all to do with this thread?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:52 am
Interesting article indeed. The other beauty part of using a Bigelow inflatable as a lunar CEV is that it is completely immune to federal budget cuts :D ! I'm having too much fun fantasizing about the idea of a privately funded and built manned lunar mission. Use a Falcon V to get you to LEO, where you will dock with your inflatable CEV. Of course this inflatable has been upgraded with several attractive options, including a rocket engine of its very own, (Don't know how big it would need to be, but Elon spoke recently about developing something in the class of the mighty F-1, so I'm sure he could provide that as well.) and this stylish lunar lander from Armadillo...
Allright I'm daydreaming! But don't any of you pretend you don't do the same thing!


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Post    Posted on: Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:06 am
yeah thats interesting, could you use an inflatable craft with a built on engine to go and explore then turn into a space station on a planet ready to have extended parts added to it.
( like the command and conquer red alert bases)

It could be moved around easily and docked anywhere!

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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 18, 2005 12:51 pm
Besides may puzzled or puzzling remark in my last post in this thread - might the possibility to move Bigelow's inflatables point to any future geostationary or lunar prize?

Once a private vehicle has won the ASP the next prize could be a geostationary or a lunar prize - if such efforts don't be too costly privately.

Might the movability be a preparation for something like that?



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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:15 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Once a private vehicle has won the ASP the next prize could be a geostationary or a lunar prize - if such efforts don't be too costly privately.


Who would sponsor it? Bigelow is probably the closest to achieving anything like this, as he's the only one who has mentioned the possibility that anyone is taking serious, so he isn't likely to sponsor a prize for himself.

NASA wont sponsor something, even if they were prepared to spend the money, that would rival their own CEV and make them seem less needed.

Who is left?

Bigelow sponsored ASP because it is in support of something he is doing and because he needs craft to service his stations. Who else is in a similar position with regard to lunar missions?

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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:43 pm
If Virgin Galactic has economic success Richard Branson could sponsor a geostationary or lunar prize (would geostationary be that reasonable or interesting?).



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