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Inflatable space habitats

cluttonfred

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The Space Shuttle is the perfect example of how NASA's design-by-committee philisophy and the funding habits of the U.S. Congress make it preferable to create one enormously complex, hugely expensive project (that would be too embarrassing to cancel because it involves jobs in so many districts) rather than many discrete, smaller, less-expensive projects. What started out as a reusable space truck in concept ended up being one of the most complex machines ever created.

Well, if NASA ended up bringing the Winnebago (big camping car) to space, there were others that proposed just bringing a pup tent. Imagine a small, simple orbiter that opens its cargo bay to deploy a large, spherical tent, many times larger than itself. The orbiter is just transportation, not the living space or the lab. I remember reading about proposed inflatable space habitats for research when I was a kid...does anyone have anything like that to could share?
 

Michel Van

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Mole said:
I remember reading about proposed inflatable space habitats for research when I was a kid...does anyone have anything like that to could share?

ohh alot

Transhab
"An American-Traditional Space Exploration Program" proposal from 1989
SICSA "Inflattable Space Struckture" proposal
Douglas collapsible space station
 

cluttonfred

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Michel Van said:
Transhab
"An American-Traditional Space Exploration Program" proposal from 1989
SICSA "Inflattable Space Struckture" proposal
Douglas collapsible space station

Thanks for the Bigelow reference...and for the others, please share!
 

Archibald

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A concept I like very, very much - the Clarke station ! http://www.lpi.usra.edu/publications/reports/CB-1106/maryland01b.pdf

Artificial gravity, Earth-Moon L1, and inflatables modules (with lot of kevlar and water to stop radiations)
 

PMN1

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Well I suppose its inflatable in that the inner Kevlar torus that is used a a frame is inflated....there was a paper in the December 1991 issue of the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society by Michael A Minovitch of Phaser Telepropulsion Inc proposing the building of rotating 2001 type stations 100 metres diameter for at least 150 crew by using automatic wrapping machines rotating round inflated Kevlar torus’ to wind thin layers of aluminium until the required thickness had been made.

The rotating toroidal living section would have a major and minor radii of 100m and 2m while the two central column cylinders with labs etc and constructed in the same way would each be 100m long x 10m diameter. The two column cylinders would connect into a pre-fabricated central hub into which three spokes 100m long x 4m diameter also constructed in the same way would be fitted to join the hub to the toroidal living section.

The station also served as the basis for a 'cycling' ship and would take about 10 HLLV (assuming 100 tons/launch) or 14 Shuttle-C launches and 1 STS flight with minimal EVA.

Costs were about $400 billion for an Earth orbit station, a Mars orbit station and a cycling ship
 

Michel Van

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from
"An American-Traditional Space Exploration Program: Quick, Inexpensive, Daring, and Tenacious,"
LLNL Doc. No. Phys. Brief 89-405
by Rod Hyde, Yuki Ishikawa, and Lowell Wood

a 50-ton folded Earth Station with a conical Apollo Command Module (CM) on top
on folded Station consists of seven cylindrical inflatable modules 15 meters long arranged end to end.
and spins end over end at 4 rotations per minute to create artificial gravity !

a 70-ton folded Lunar Base payload with an Apollo CM
lands on moon and inflates on the surface

a 70-ton Mars Expedition ship launches and inflates in Earth orbit
then fuel and launch

Picture show
one: Hardware
old Saturn V to Next new Launcher, then Earth Station
top right on folded Lunar base
Down right Mars Ship ready for mission

Two: Lunar lander (with Lunar base) to refuel at "Gas Station"
were solar power is used to electrolyze water into hydrogen fuel and oxygen oxidizer
(Water launch by the lowest bidder.)
 

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robunos

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is the 'new launcher' a Titan IIIL6?...

cheers,
Robin.
 

OM

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Michel Van

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robunos said:
is the 'new launcher' a Titan IIIL6?...

the data say something about a Titan VI or HL Delta rocket (HL= Heavy Lift ?)
with 50-70 tons payload

a Titan IIIL6 ?
had Martin ever proposed something like that ?!
 

PMN1

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Michel Van said:
from
"An American-Traditional Space Exploration Program: Quick, Inexpensive, Daring, and Tenacious,"
LLNL Doc. No. Phys. Brief 89-405
by Rod Hyde, Yuki Ishikawa, and Lowell Wood

a 50-ton folded Earth Station with a conical Apollo Command Module (CM) on top
on folded Station consists of seven cylindrical inflatable modules 15 meters long arranged end to end.
and spins end over end at 4 rotations per minute to create artificial gravity !

a 70-ton folded Lunar Base payload with an Apollo CM
lands on moon and inflates on the surface

How many crew in those ideas?
 

robunos

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Titan IIIL6...

from Jenkins' 'Space Shuttle', p.152:-
"...The second candidate was the Titan IIIM, developed (but never built) for MOL. Although the IIIM itself was too small to carry the proposed interim orbiter, it could be scaled up into the Titan IIIL (large) that used a 16-foot diameter core instead of the normal 10-foot unit, and would have up to six 120-inch diameter solid rocket boosters arranged around the core to provide additional thrust."

See also OBB's blog here:-

http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=1855

and astronautix.com, here:-

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/titan.htm

also Hesham's find here,

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19720011228_1972011228.pdf

entitled,"AERODYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TITAN T III L (1207-4)/GAC H-33 LAUNCH CONFIGURATION "

cheers,
Robin.

EDIT. Forgot to add picture credits:-

titaniiil2.jpg from OBB's blog, as mentioned above,

titan3l2.gif + titan3l4.gif from astronautix.com,

Titan IIIL6 + MSC-042A.jpg from Jenkins' 'Space Shuttle', p.148,

Titan IIIL4 + shuttles.jpg from Jenkins' 'Space Shuttle', p.164.
 

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Grey Havoc

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beam_bigelow03122015.jpg

ORIGINAL CAPTION: NASA officials view the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module at Bigelow’s facility in Las Vegas in March. The module is scheduled for launch to the ISS in early 2016.

Credit: NASA/Stephanie Schierholz

- See more at: http://www.space.com/31486-nasa-habitation-module-work-accelerates.html#sthash.YhJEPNMF.dpuf

http://www.space.com/31486-nasa-habitation-module-work-accelerates.html​
 

Grey Havoc

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http://gizmodo.com/watch-the-iss-crew-inflate-its-new-space-house-1778680109
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Station_Gets_Ready_to_Expand_BEAM_999.html
 

Flyaway

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NASA calls off inflation of experimental station habita

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/26/nasa-calls-off-inflation-of-experimental-station-habitat/
 

blackstar

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They'll just try again tomorrow.

But Bigelow's tweet about this was somewhat passive aggressive, implying that it was an "overabundance of caution" that halted the inflation, not a technical problem.
 

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And success...

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/28/beam-fully-expanded-and-pressurized/

Pressurization of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) began at 4:34 p.m. EDT, and the eight tanks filled with air completed full pressurization of the module 10 minutes later at 4:44 p.m. BEAM’s pressure will be equalized with that of the International Space Station, where it will remain attached for a two-year test period.

The module measured just over 7 feet long and just under 7.75 feet in diameter in its packed configuration. BEAM now measures more than 13 feet long and about 10.5 feet in diameter to create 565 cubic feet of habitable volume. It weighs approximately 3,000 pounds.

During the next week, leak checks will be performed on BEAM to ensure its structural integrity. Hatch opening and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams’ first entrance into BEAM will take place about a week after leak checks are complete.
 

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blackstar said:
They'll just try again tomorrow.

But Bigelow's tweet about this was somewhat passive aggressive, implying that it was an "overabundance of caution" that halted the inflation, not a technical problem.
They're not wrong.
 

Arjen

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sferrin said:
blackstar said:
They'll just try again tomorrow.

But Bigelow's tweet about this was somewhat passive aggressive, implying that it was an "overabundance of caution" that halted the inflation, not a technical problem.
They're not wrong.
Act in haste, repent at leisure.
 

blackstar

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Arjen said:
Act in haste, repent at leisure.

I haven't heard that saying before, but it's a good one.

There's a quote that I once saw attributed to Eisenhower, although I cannot find it on the internet. It was something like "Let's not rush to make our mistakes."
 

sferrin

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blackstar said:
Arjen said:
Act in haste, repent at leisure.

I haven't heard that saying before, but it's a good one.

There's a quote that I once saw attributed to Eisenhower, although I cannot find it on the internet. It was something like "Let's not rush to make our mistakes."

There is such a thing as too much caution. SpaceX would not have landed it's 3rd booster, on a barge, at sea with NASA level risk aversion.
 

Arjen

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The module was inflated a day or so late.
sferrin said:
There is such a thing as too much caution. SpaceX would not have landed it's 3rd booster, on a barge, at sea with NASA level risk aversion.
I don't think this event was a case of NASA being overcautious. Something unexpected happened at the first attempt. There was enough time for another attempt at inflating the module - after a close look at what happened. What's the hurry?
 

blackstar

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sferrin said:
blackstar said:
Arjen said:
Act in haste, repent at leisure.

I haven't heard that saying before, but it's a good one.

There's a quote that I once saw attributed to Eisenhower, although I cannot find it on the internet. It was something like "Let's not rush to make our mistakes."

There is such a thing as too much caution. SpaceX would not have landed it's 3rd booster, on a barge, at sea with NASA level risk aversion.

"The launch firm said managers delayed the launch until no earlier than Friday “out of an abundance of caution” to review data on the condition of the rocket."

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/26/stressing-caution-spacex-delays-commercial-satellite-launch/
 

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sferrin said:
blackstar said:
Arjen said:
Act in haste, repent at leisure.

I haven't heard that saying before, but it's a good one.

There's a quote that I once saw attributed to Eisenhower, although I cannot find it on the internet. It was something like "Let's not rush to make our mistakes."

There is such a thing as too much caution. SpaceX would not have landed it's 3rd booster, on a barge, at sea with NASA level risk aversion.
SpaceX's success at its bring-back boosters has little to do with NASA's level of caution. The agency operates within political mandates, one of which is "don't lose too much of the Taxpayers' money in screw-ups or there will be hell to pay," a burden SpaceX is thankfully free of. If the legislative and executive branches could cooperate on giving NASA the freedom of action it needs, the people working there would no let us down.
 

sferrin

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Moose said:
sferrin said:
blackstar said:
Arjen said:
Act in haste, repent at leisure.

I haven't heard that saying before, but it's a good one.

There's a quote that I once saw attributed to Eisenhower, although I cannot find it on the internet. It was something like "Let's not rush to make our mistakes."

There is such a thing as too much caution. SpaceX would not have landed it's 3rd booster, on a barge, at sea with NASA level risk aversion.
SpaceX's success at its bring-back boosters has little to do with NASA's level of caution. The agency operates within political mandates, one of which is "don't lose too much of the Taxpayers' money in screw-ups or there will be hell to pay," a burden SpaceX is thankfully free of. If the legislative and executive branches could cooperate on giving NASA the freedom of action it needs, the people working there would no let us down.

Which doesn't change the fact that NASA currently operates with a crippling level of risk-aversion.
 

TomS

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Perhaps. But this is not an example of that. It's hardly excessive risk-aversion to take a couple of days to examine why you might be getting unexpected results in a situation like this.
 

sferrin

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blackstar said:
sferrin said:
blackstar said:
Arjen said:
Act in haste, repent at leisure.

I haven't heard that saying before, but it's a good one.

There's a quote that I once saw attributed to Eisenhower, although I cannot find it on the internet. It was something like "Let's not rush to make our mistakes."

There is such a thing as too much caution. SpaceX would not have landed it's 3rd booster, on a barge, at sea with NASA level risk aversion.

"The launch firm said managers delayed the launch until no earlier than Friday “out of an abundance of caution” to review data on the condition of the rocket."

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/26/stressing-caution-spacex-delays-commercial-satellite-launch/

Just a bit of difference between risking an entire launch vehicle, and the customers payload, and inflating a beach ball. Yes, yes, we all know it's more complex than a beach ball but the mechanism at work is the same. It's not like they were operating at high pressure. IIRC when they hit 1 psi and there was hitch they stopped to "reassess". Obvious Bigalow already knew the limits, risks, and safety factors but apparently it wasn't up to NASA levels of caution.
 

sferrin

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TomS said:
Perhaps. But this is not an example of that. It's hardly excessive risk-aversion to take a couple of days to examine why you might be getting unexpected results in a situation like this.

We'll just have to agree to disagree.
 

blackstar

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sferrin said:
blackstar said:
sferrin said:
blackstar said:
Arjen said:
Act in haste, repent at leisure.

I haven't heard that saying before, but it's a good one.

There's a quote that I once saw attributed to Eisenhower, although I cannot find it on the internet. It was something like "Let's not rush to make our mistakes."

There is such a thing as too much caution. SpaceX would not have landed it's 3rd booster, on a barge, at sea with NASA level risk aversion.

"The launch firm said managers delayed the launch until no earlier than Friday “out of an abundance of caution” to review data on the condition of the rocket."

http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/26/stressing-caution-spacex-delays-commercial-satellite-launch/

Just a bit of difference between risking an entire launch vehicle, and the customers payload, and inflating a beach ball. Yes, yes, we all know it's more complex than a beach ball but the mechanism at work is the same. It's not like they were operating at high pressure. IIRC when they hit 1 psi and there was hitch they stopped to "reassess". Obvious Bigalow already knew the limits, risks, and safety factors but apparently it wasn't up to NASA levels of caution.

How many space programs have you successfully run?
 

Byeman

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sferrin said:
TomS said:
Perhaps. But this is not an example of that. It's hardly excessive risk-aversion to take a couple of days to examine why you might be getting unexpected results in a situation like this.

We'll just have to agree to disagree.

Fine, but that still doesn't change the fact that you are completely wrong and have nothing to support your incorrect opinion.
 

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sferrin said:
Which doesn't change the fact that NASA currently operates with a crippling level of risk-aversion.

Another unsupported opinion.
 

Byeman

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sferrin said:
Just a bit of difference between risking an entire launch vehicle, and the customers payload, and inflating a beach ball. Yes, yes, we all know it's more complex than a beach ball but the mechanism at work is the same. It's not like they were operating at high pressure. IIRC when they hit 1 psi and there was hitch they stopped to "reassess". Obvious Bigalow already knew the limits, risks, and safety factors but apparently it wasn't up to NASA levels of caution.

Wrong. The post shows lack of basic understanding of engineering and processes. There is more at play than just Bigalow hardware, there are implications to the rest of the ISS. There is the interface to the ISS, there are near by ISS structures, etc. 1 psi compared to vacuum is a lot. That is 144 pounds of force on 1 square foot. The force adds up.

Enough with the flippant airchair engineering. Until you have put something into space, you don't have cred to say otherwise.
 

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sferrin said:
blackstar said:
Arjen said:
Act in haste, repent at leisure.

I haven't heard that saying before, but it's a good one.

There's a quote that I once saw attributed to Eisenhower, although I cannot find it on the internet. It was something like "Let's not rush to make our mistakes."

There is such a thing as too much caution. SpaceX would not have landed it's 3rd booster, on a barge, at sea with NASA level risk aversion.

Not true. They try landing for NASA missions. NASA doesn't care since landing doesn't affect the primary mission.
 

sferrin

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Byeman said:
sferrin said:
TomS said:
Perhaps. But this is not an example of that. It's hardly excessive risk-aversion to take a couple of days to examine why you might be getting unexpected results in a situation like this.

We'll just have to agree to disagree.

Fine, but that still doesn't change the fact that you are completely wrong and have nothing to support your incorrect opinion.

Bigelow seems to disagree with you. So does SpaceX and the private sector in general. But hey, keep waving those pom-poms for NASA, I'm sure somebody somewhere will listen to you.

Byeman said:
sferrin said:
Which doesn't change the fact that NASA currently operates with a crippling level of risk-aversion.

Another unsupported opinion.

Refute it with specifics. You know, prove I'm wrong. Show me some examples of NASA's rapid reaction or development time. I would love to be wrong because most everything coming out of NASA these days (with the exception of their space probes) is depressing as hell.


Byeman said:
Enough with the flippant airchair engineering. Until you have put something into space, you don't have cred to say otherwise.

What have you put into space?

Byeman said:
Not true. They try landing for NASA missions. NASA doesn't care since landing doesn't affect the primary mission.

Which NASA launch vehicles has NASA tried landing at sea on a barge? Oh right, none. And nobody cares what NASA thinks about what SpaceX does with its own vehicles used to launch NASA payloads as NASA's only paying for the ride up. Whether NASA cares or not means absolutely zero in this instance.
 

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sferrin said:
1. Bigelow seems to disagree with you. So does SpaceX and the private sector in general.

2. Refute it with specifics. You know, prove I'm wrong. Show me some examples of NASA's rapid reaction or development time. I would love to be wrong because most everything coming out of NASA these days (with the exception of their space probes) is depressing as hell.

3. What have you put into space?

4. Which NASA launch vehicles has NASA tried landing at sea on a barge? Oh right, none. And nobody cares what NASA thinks about what SpaceX does with its own vehicles used to launch NASA payloads as NASA's only paying for the ride up. Whether NASA cares or not means absolutely zero in this instance.

1. How does "Bigelow seems to disagree " with me and "SpaceX and the private sector in general"?

2. NASA is not monolithic and "most everything coming out of NASA these days" is unqualified. NASA science mission, space technology and aeronautics make up about about 40% of the budget. The part of 44% that is human spaceflight operations covers the TDRSS, DSN and other tracking systems. Commercial crew and cargo are also funded from this pot. Orion and SLS only make up 18% of NASA budget. The space probes is where NASA excels. We don't need NASA building launch vehicles (SLS included). And also explain "rapid reaction or development time"? Seems that SpaceX is following the standard timelines. 4 years to develop the basic Falcon 9, longer if you include the advanced versions. No different from most science spacecraft.

3. Spacecraft and station logistics on more 30 shuttle missions. More 30 spacecraft on ELV's including Titan IV, Atlas II, Delta II, Atlas V, Delta IV and Falcon 9

4. Wrong, NASA does have a say on what happens to the Falcon 9 on missions it is buying. Also, who cares that rockets land on a barge at all. They are just scrap and not going to be resused. Reuse is still an unknown.

Typical NASA bashing and SpaceX FanBoi post
 
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