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All is set...Bigelow to be the future of our space exploit

Posted by: TopGunWgHs - Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:15 pm
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All is set...Bigelow to be the future of our space exploit 

Do You Think We Will Live To See These Or Close To Products Being Built On The Moon Or Mars In Our Life Time?
Yes, i hope that we will have a chance to go to a moon resort. 100%  100%  [ 12 ]
No, there is no way these things will ever work, and we need to find new space habitats. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 12

All is set...Bigelow to be the future of our space exploit 
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Post All is set...Bigelow to be the future of our space exploit   Posted on: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:15 pm
Inflatable space module wins approval
By Leonard David
SPACE.com
Thursday, November 25, 2004 Posted: 9:00 AM EST (1400 GMT)



Bigelow Aerospace has planned a series of inflatable structures for space.


(SPACE.com) -- The U.S. government has given payload approval to Bigelow Aerospace permitting the entrepreneurial firm to launch its inflatable space module technology.

Bigelow Aerospace of North Las Vegas, Nevada has blueprinted a step-by-step program to explore the use of inflatable Earth orbiting modules. Those modules would not only support made-in-microgravity product development, but serve as the technological foundation for eventual space tourist housing and use of similar structures on the moon and Mars.

The Federal Aviation Administration's Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, or FAA-AST, has given Bigelow Aerospace payload approval for flying its Genesis inflatable module - one-third scale hardware crafted to lead to a much larger space habitat dubbed the Nautilus.

Extensive review
The FAA-AST approval letter of November 17 regarding the Bigelow Aerospace scale demonstration module comes after an extensive review of the concept, including its construction, materials used, shielding technology, the in-space inflation process to be utilized, as well as the deorbiting of the test module.

"Obtaining the FAA-AST payload approval for Genesis is a first of its kind," explained Mike Gold, corporate counsel for Bigelow Aerospace in Washington, D.C. "This will go a long way to establishing a good precedent for the inflatables," he said.

"This is a first step...but an important first step along the road that Bigelow Aerospace is traveling," Gold added. To obtain the "favorable payload determination" by the FAA-AST, a review process took place over roughly an eight-month period, he said.

Gold said that the approval letter is not "rocket specific" and carries no deadline date. The letter indicates, he said, that if a launch operator applies to the FAA for license to launch a vehicle carrying the Genesis payload, the favorable payload determination will be incorporated in the review of the license application.

"It's one small step for the FAA-AST, one giant leap for Bigelow Aerospace," Gold said. He saluted the FAA-AST for helping nascent space firms move forward and for taking a larger look at the role entrepreneurs and new technologies can play in space.

Bigelow Aerospace is headed by Robert Bigelow, owner of the Budget Suites of America Hotel Chain, among a roster of other business ventures.

The current plan is to launch the Genesis payload on the private booster, the Falcon V, a derivative of the still-to-fly Falcon 1 being built by Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) in El Segundo, California.

The Genesis prototype hardware would be onboard the Falcon V's maiden flight that is targeted for a November 2005 time frame.

Bigelow Aerospace also plans to loft a Genesis Pathfinder module in April 2006, using a silo-launched Dnepr booster under contract with ISC Kosmotras, a Russian and Ukrainian rocket-for-hire company.

America's Space Prize
Earlier this month, Bigelow Aerospace took the wraps off the $50 million "America's Space Prize". That contest, with a January 10, 2010 deadline, is designed to stimulate the building of orbital, crew-carrying spacecraft that have the ability to dock with a Bigelow Aerospace inflatable space habitat.

"We've gotten lots of interest from a variety of sources," Gold said. "It has run the spectrum from small entrepreneurial groups to interest from larger traditional aerospace companies."

There have been some gripes from would-be contestants not based in the United States.

In the primary rules for the competition it states that the contestant must be domiciled in the United States of America. Furthermore, the contestant must have its principal place of business in the U.S.

For one, if a spacecraft system is developed domestically in the United States, a benefit is not dealing with International Traffic in Arms Regulations and export control issues that can be "quite difficult and quite problematic," Gold explained.

However, Gold added, those two prize rules should not be construed as some kind of blanket prohibition on international participation. "I would imagine that an international entity would be able to easily establish a subsidiary of some kind that would meet those two requirements."

"America's Space Prize in no way precludes international participation. That's just not the case," Gold said.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:32 pm
The most interesting portion of that article to me are the end - it's giving additional answers to my own former question after the reasons for the restriction and it's clarifying that international firms can participate perhaps by "establish(ing) a subsidiary". So it's good news.

Very important is the message that support of "made-in-microgravity product development" is one purpose - that is one step to possible orbital production sites of small size.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:48 pm
The British company Starchaser has set up a unit at Mojava, so perhaps they will think about entering.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:55 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
The British company Starchaser has set up a unit at Mojava, so perhaps they will think about entering.

It's Mojave, not Mojava. You better cut back on your coffee intake.

DKH

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:18 pm
No coffee required just bad spelling

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 01, 2004 5:07 pm
There will almost certainly be some kind of base on the moon in my lifetime, but I am too old to live long enough for the cost of a visit to the lunar surface to come down to my price range. My children may have the chance though.
However, there are less ambitious trips that could occur. I have often though that a free return loop around the moon would be the logical next step after orbital tourism, and someone else is thinking it too. Here is a story about a plan to send Soyuz on such a trip:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6558855/
$100,000,000 is just a LITTLE out of my price range, but reducing these costs is what the X-Prize is all about!


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