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Bigalow Info'?

Posted by: beancounter - Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:27 am
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Bigalow Info'? 
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:59 am
At last Jeff Foust has managed to snap off a picture of the great man.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/667/1

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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:20 pm
I think a whole lot more of him than Gump--the rocket race NASCAR folks --or even Rutan.

If only he didn't look like a used car dealer...


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Post    Posted on: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:18 am
There's a a 2 hour interview with Robert Bigelow over on the Space Show website. Havent listened to it yet but the discription looks pretty interesting, guess I know what I'll be doing for the next couple of hours. :)

http://www.thespaceshow.com/detail.asp?q=543

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Post    Posted on: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:36 pm
Here's an article giving some costs for stays on a Bigelow station, not as cheap as I thought it was going to be. $14.9m for four weeks is still a bit out of my price bracket.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... -from.html

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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:31 am
Hello, Andy Hill,

yes, it is expensive.

But compare it to what Tito and the others had to pay who did a private orbital flight - it was several millions of dollars above what Bigelow takes from his future guests. According to the article the price includes the flight there.

Looking at the flight costs of the CXV listed by t/Space the flight costs per passenger could be between $ 3 mio and $ 5 mio only and it might be that SpaceX can reduce their prices to that level also because Elon Musk has mentioned that prices listed at present don't include reusability - he is pricing as if his rockets were expendable!

Next Tito etc. spent a week or two at the ISS while Bigelow is offering four weeks. So Bigelow takes $ 3.725 mio to $ 7.45 mio for what the Space Adventures/Russians take $ 20 mio to $ 25 mio for.

Under this aspect there is progress toward lower prices.

What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:04 am
I think you have to remember that the Russian Soyuz holds only a crew of 3 and is expendable, while spacecraft like Dreamchaser can hold up to 8 and is reusable. For these reasons I would have expected a price below $10m per ticket as the the majority of the expenses incured would be for the launch vehicle.

I would agree that this is a lot cheaper than what people are paying to visit the ISS and prices may well come down as flight rates go up but there is not a significantly greater number of people who can afford Bigelow's prices. So he will be competing for the same market as the Russians and that is not large enough to sustain many flights a year.

Having extra weeks in orbit for customers, while attractive, will not cost Bigelow a great deal more in supplies shipped to orbit. This is probably more to do with the launch rate he thinks he can achieve rather than offerring value for money.

I think a cost of $5m would have made a much bigger difference and increased the market size but it's still a step in the right direction.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:04 pm
But he's not thinking "only tourists..."

What about big corporations? Nations without its own space program, etc...


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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:57 pm
IrquiM wrote:
But he's not thinking "only tourists..."

What about big corporations? Nations without its own space program, etc...


who said "only tourists", I think the market for Bigelow will not be appreciably bigger than it is for the ISS. Where are the private companies queing up to send astronauts to the ISS? With regard to supplying nations with their own space station, I think that unlikely given the current ITAR rules.

I think there is a market for flying experiments in orbit but whether that requires hundreds of people to go along to perform them is debatable.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:58 am
Quote:
who said "only tourists", I think the market for Bigelow will not be appreciably bigger than it is for the ISS. Where are the private companies queing up to send astronauts to the ISS? With regard to supplying nations with their own space station, I think that unlikely given the current ITAR rules.


Do we have any evidence that this is more an ISS problem and not a general space problem?
Nasa, and governments in general, are harder for corps to work with sometimes.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:52 am
Regarding the price it is worth to remember Virgin Galactic's strategy which includes three levels of prices or deposites that follow each other according to the number of contractors. Perhaps it turns out that Bigelow has in mind something similar and takes high initial prices to get his space station depreciated faster.

Another point regarding prices may be that he wants profits since Bigelow Aerospace is a private company. Under this aspect it can't be seen why he should take as low prices as he could - it is much more interesting to take a price at that level that is less than the prices known up to now by the minimum amount required to turn his station an interesting alternative in the eyes of his potential customers.

To this another third aspect has to be combined: Might it be that his station offers more space for people than the ISS? As far as I know the ISS has space for 7 people maximum but Bigelow's station offers space for a lot more people. If that capacity is NOT used completely the space per person is more than on the ISS. This means that Bigelow's station is more pricy regarding space per person or even $/m^3 .

And he will not apply that restrictions - to people like Tito - that NASA prefers to apply.

What about such aspects?



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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:39 am
FerrisValyn wrote:
Do we have any evidence that this is more an ISS problem and not a general space problem?


I've not seen anything to suggest that a private space station will be better at attracting large numbers of corporations to fly people to it than the ISS is.

With regard to ITAR, I read an article recently where Bigelow was saying that in some respects dealing with the ITAR issues of launching on a Russian rocket were harder than actually building Genesis. This leads me to believe that supplying a station to a foreign government (no matter how friendly) is not likely to be very easy. The ITAR rules could always be changed though as I think a lot of people in the US have come to realise that it is harming the US space industry, so who knows this might not be such a problem in the future.

FerrisValyn wrote:
Nasa, and governments in general, are harder for corps to work with sometimes.


True but at the moment the ISS is the only destination that a company could fly to and none have done so. From a government perspective I would have thought that they would have preferred to fly a company researcher to do experiments rather than a private individual. Also a company would probably employ an ex-astronaut to carry out its experiments, since this hasn't happened I can only conclude that companies dont need/want to spend the $20m or so booking a seat for their own test engineer. Or the experiments they wish to carry out do not justify that much investment, which is why I think a lower priced ticket would get many more takers.

I think that the space/capacity on board a bigelow station compared to the ISS is not so important. Any experiments taken will need to be relatively small to get them there in the first place. Also I believe that if the Russians thought they could make a bigger profit by flying people to the ISS on a monthly basis they would have done so, obviously the market is not there for them to exploit or they dont have the launch capacity to do it. I dont think we have seen a huge increase in Soyuz flights in recent years which would enable them to fly more paying customers.

I think the problem for the ISS and Bigelow is the same as always, transport to LEO, and until this is solved both will struggle to have a high number of people visiting them. Lets hope that Dragon, Dreamchaser and others manage to get there.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:34 am
Hello, Andy Hill,

regarding companies flying to the ISS the might be a change when Columbus is incorporated into the ISS. Af ew years ago there was a post by an executive of a german "Industrie- und Handelskammer" - may be it was the "Deutscher Industrie- und Handelstag" - calling upon companies to lease time, space and capacities on the ISS because ESA is pursuing the strategy to lease Columbus to private companies. Behind that are the costs and depreciations of Columbus. By the way - "Industrie- und Handelskammer" might be translated as "Chamber of Industry and Trade" while "Deutscher Industrie- und Handelstag" might be "German Congress of Industry and Trade". The second is the federal level of the firsts. They are public corporations responsible to do self-responsibly tasks of the governments - the members are private companies who elect members of a parliament of those corporations. These parliaments elect presidents and government-like chiefs of the chambers - my father has been such a chief of a similar corporation outside the industry and utside the trade for thirty years . The trade unions also elect members of those parliaments.

In so far Columbus might cause corporations to fly to the ISS - if so they might be interested in flying to Bigelow's station as well.

Regarding ITAR I remember that Virgin Galactic succeeded to pass ITAR regarding SS2-flights outside the US - they plan to do flights in Sweden for example. So this obstacle perhaps doesn't exist for the companies - they simply need a vehicle to fly which might be from Starchaser for example.

...
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...



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Post    Posted on: Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:55 am
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Regarding ITAR I remember that Virgin Galactic succeeded to pass ITAR regarding SS2-flights outside the US - they plan to do flights in Sweden for example. So this obstacle perhaps doesn't exist for the companies - they simply need a vehicle to fly which might be from Starchaser for example.


I think that Bigelow's ITAR problems will be much bigger. A couple of hours (mostly in a seat belted in) does not give the traveller much time to study the hardware, 4 weeks floating around in orbit will be another thing. Also Bigelow wants to deal with foreign governments to set up their own space programs using his inflatables, if that is not spreading space technology around I dont know what is. I think he might be able to lease a station to a US company but I think that doing the same for a foreign country will not be allowed.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:33 am
Are those silly rules US rules? Why doesn't he go to Australia if the rules there would be more normal? Or isn't that easy to do? Or how about Canada :P

In my opinion, i don't think he has even considered the possibility of setting up his aerospace company in another country. Perhaps anybody has any ideas suggestions on this one?

About the pricing, it's still high off course, but i think only governments will be able to pay this. But then again, unmanned experiments could be cheaper to perform, so it's kinda a shot in the dark, but i hope he succeeds.

About ISS not being swamped with more tourists, the price tag for starters and secondly, the US/NASA didn't want any tourist on their space shuttle (not that any sane person would want to ride that thing anymore), so they were confined to the Russians plus that i think you still have to have some scientific background in order to go. They can't go up and only look out the window a week long. Apart from the experience and the view, there is still not much you can do from my perspective. It's like 500 years ago you would travel to the smallest and most cramped village far far away and there are only 2 or 3 people in it. And since the astronauts onboard ISS have their own things to do, i doubt they want to go along and 'play' all day with the tourists.

They might want to consider finally setting up some real infrastructure for agriculture so that any tourist can at least grow their own food.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:35 am
Stefan Sigwarth wrote:
Are those silly rules US rules? Why doesn't he go to Australia if the rules there would be more normal? Or isn't that easy to do? Or how about Canada :P

In my opinion, i don't think he has even considered the possibility of setting up his aerospace company in another country. Perhaps anybody has any ideas suggestions on this one?


I think the rules still apply to US citizens who are based abroad. But this wouldn't matter in Bigelow's case anyway as most of his empire is in the US so the authorities would be able to bring significant pressure to bare on him. Also I think there is an element of patriotism in this for him, in that he wants the US to be at the forfront of space exploration and if NASA is not going to do it then he will. Being based overseas would develop another country's infrastructure not America's.

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