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posted by martyb on Friday September 13 2019, @02:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the not-a-load-of-hot-air dept.

Bigelow Aerospace Unveils B330 Inflatable Module Mock-Up

Hotel mogul Robert Bigelow wants to take his idea to build inflatable space habitats and run with it — apparently, all the way to the moon and Mars.

On Thursday, the billionaire publicly unveiled Bigelow Aerospace's latest model of an expandable space station prototype, called the "Bigelow Mars Transporter Testing Unit." The mock-up has the volume of four 40-foot-long cargo containers and was built in part for NASA astronauts and engineers to try it out.

Bigelow's immediate goal is to convince NASA — which is testing prototypes made by four other companies— to fund a space-worthy unit, called the B330 (so named because it would have 330 cubic meters of volume). The work is in support of the space agency's $20-30 billion moon-landing program, called Artemis.

The 330 cubic meters of pressurized volume of the B330 compares favorably to the 351.6 m3 of Skylab (the US' first space station) and the 931.57 m3 of the ISS (International Space Station).


Original Submission

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Nevada-Based Bigelow Aerospace Lays Off Entire Workforce 8 comments

Bigelow Aerospace lays off entire workforce

Bigelow Aerospace, the company founded more than two decades ago to develop commercial space habitats, laid off all its employees March 23 in a move caused at least in part by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to sources familiar with the company's activities, Bigelow Aerospace's 68 employees were informed that they were being laid off, effective immediately. An additional 20 employees were laid off the previous week.

Those sources said that the company, based in North Las Vegas, Nevada, was halting operations because of what one person described as a "perfect storm of problems" that included the coronavirus pandemic. On March 20, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive ordering all "nonessential" businesses to close.

[...] Robert Bigelow said in a Jan. 28 interview that his company declined to submit a proposal [for an ISS commercial module] to NASA because of financing concerns. NASA, at the time of the competition, said it projected providing up to $561 million to support both a commercial ISS module as well as a separate solicitation for a free-flying facility. "That was asking just too much" of the company, Bigelow said. "So we told NASA we had to bow out."

Previously:
Bigelow Expandable Activity Module to Continue Stay at the International Space Station
Bigelow and ULA to Put Inflatable Module in Orbit Around the Moon by 2022
Bigelow Aerospace Forms New Company to Manage Space Stations, Announces Gigantic Inflatable Module
Bigelow Aerospace Unveils B330 Inflatable Module Mock-Up

Related:
Sierra Nevada Corporation Shows Off an Inflatable Habitat
Expanding, And Eventually Replacing, The International Space Station


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  • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Friday September 13 2019, @04:51AM (1 child)

    by mhajicek (51) on Friday September 13 2019, @04:51AM (#893528)

    Must have these in KSP2.

    --
    The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 13 2019, @05:15AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 13 2019, @05:15AM (#893531)

      I can sell you a bouncy castle. Just don't let kids on it,

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Friday September 13 2019, @06:13AM (10 children)

    by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Friday September 13 2019, @06:13AM (#893551) Journal

    There are x million empty hotel rooms and x+1 million homeless people, a guy who made money from making rooms that are empty most of the time, is building empty rooms for space with the extra money and has so much extra money that he is effectively a branch of the national space program.

    No. The story goes, "once everyone on earth was cared for and dynamics were stabilized, humanity expanded to other planets", not "once the people who had ruined the earth had nothing left to steal and the planetary dynamics were absolute batshit insane, they went and stole other planets where this repeated itself."

    I can only have something to do with one of these ideas, and the other is some real darth vader shit if there ever was.

    thesesystemsarefaililng.net

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by PiMuNu on Friday September 13 2019, @10:37AM (5 children)

      by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 13 2019, @10:37AM (#893579)

      Paraphrase "We can't do anything until we have fixed humanity." Does this not doom us all to failure?

      > once everyone on earth was cared for and dynamics were stabilized

      I don't think that is possible. Try to do this impossible task and don't do anything else until the impossible task is done?

      Further, one might argue that things like moving beyond earth is part of the fix to humanity.

      • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Friday September 13 2019, @01:42PM (4 children)

        by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Friday September 13 2019, @01:42PM (#893626) Journal

        These are almost fair questions, I don't dismiss them entirely.

        But you are wrong. Our planet is a a disease right now, anyone who wants to spread to a different planet is in such extreme denial of this that whatever they are going to do on a different planet is just going to extend the nightmare.

        That you even bother to try to take the other side in some kindof half ass way tells me a lot about you, mostly that I don't want to know you.

        Youre like 'maybe it will just get better of bezos gets a spaceship' and this might just turn things around. That is extremely unintelligent and uninformed, or morally blind. Maybe all three. You might want to have that looked at.

        • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Saturday September 14 2019, @06:14AM (3 children)

          by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Saturday September 14 2019, @06:14AM (#893988) Journal

          Also, it is astounding to me how building spaceships is a problem perceived as easy compared to, for instance, housing all of the humans in San Francisco.

          Building spaceships, aka going to the frontier, is the equivalent of saying society is totally beyond repair and giving up.

          Which is totally mad, because the system worked so well for you that you have a billion dollars.

          Wealth to the best of my observational ability makes it easy for you to live with self serving contradictions like this.

          • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday September 16 2019, @11:16AM (2 children)

            by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 16 2019, @11:16AM (#894563)

            > Also, it is astounding to me how building spaceships is a problem perceived as easy compared to, for instance, housing all of the humans in San Francisco.

            The reasons people are homeless are extremely complex. It is not simply a question of providing enough houses. People are homeless due to a complex mix of social, financial and mental problems. To reduce such a complex system to a merely financial one is poor logic. *Perhaps* one could reduce the financial issue; and provide greater welfare to reduce the social issue. It is not clear to me however.

            • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Monday September 16 2019, @03:14PM (1 child)

              by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Monday September 16 2019, @03:14PM (#894630) Journal

              I don't disagree, I am making a comparison.

              All of those things about difficulty and complexity are present in the space problem also, it's even fraught with the perils of outer space.

              But if you have a billion dollars, all of that is preferable to dealing with the fact that there are just some people who are never going to be able to afford and apartment anywhere. You can either kill them, imprison them, pay for them to have a basic life, or there will be shit on the street.

              They have chosen the latter, and to go build spaceships in the middle of nowhere. I refuse to see them as nobel for that.

              Electric cars, tunnels, anything that helps cities is interesting and at least somewhat defensible. Or half and half. Find a way to house 10,000 people and then spend an equal amount on your space adventure.

              • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday September 16 2019, @03:44PM

                by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 16 2019, @03:44PM (#894649)

                > All of those things about difficulty and complexity are present in the space problem also, it's even fraught with the perils of outer space.

                I disagree strongly. Engineering problems are very much a closed problem - make the rocket bigger and it goes faster. Societal problems are far harder to manage, lots of strong feedback loops that are obscure and difficult to resolve.

                > You can either kill them, imprison them,

                not really a solution

                > pay for them to have a basic life,

                No! My whole point is this doesn't work. You can't pay someone to be happy and engage with society. The problems are far deeper than you realise I think.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 13 2019, @12:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 13 2019, @12:20PM (#893603)

      The B330 and other inflatable modules offer a great solution for adding living space and storage on space stations, spaceships, and surface bases. There will be demand for these uses, not necessarily space hotels.

      Humans will not ruin other planets in this solar system because they start out ruined. Saving the Earth isn't any one person's job, but it is being worked on.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 13 2019, @03:24PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 13 2019, @03:24PM (#893683)

      every generation has to learn everything again, not just school stuff.
      we are living in a "lull" moment in time. screens infront everwhere.
      the big ideas in the past, like apollo, i am sure, helped some kids in hard families to HOPE.
      misery can be infectious and hope can be a cure ... big picture ideas can give hope and make hard lives feel softer?
      not saying, ignore these real problems, but once past 18 years old humans can decide for themselfs.
      methinks having some big picture idea that is real can keep some kids afloat long enough and not lose hope and turn to the dark side with even more misery created?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 13 2019, @04:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 13 2019, @04:34PM (#893725)

        Sorry, that's not good enough for JTHUD. If billionaires aren't giving away hot meals or avenging the death of Epstein, they're playing with worthless TOYS and TRASH and need to DIE.

      • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Saturday September 14 2019, @06:11AM

        by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Saturday September 14 2019, @06:11AM (#893986) Journal

        this isn't about kids dreaming, it is about rich people squandering our resources for projects that only benefit themselves, and then aggrandizing for it with media they own.

        It's really sickening, and I think if kids who are reading magazines excited about space eventually see that it will be worse.

        Or when they get their first apartment and realize what really affects them is real estate speculation, by companies owned by the same guy.

        There are plenty of large projects that would help and be inspiring. Wind turbines and solar farms are awe inspiring for me even as an older person. Mass tree plantings.

        What the world needs now though, is levies and relocation because whatever else you may think about the climate and environment, there is now a lot more water in the ocean and it has more thermal energy.

        The people building spaceships are, like in new orleans, totally content to let nature do its worst after they have jetted away to a safe zone, and then come back in later to scoop up cheap real estate.

  • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 13 2019, @03:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 13 2019, @03:28PM (#893687)

    Blowhard lazy unskilled big talker (but no action in provable work done by "it") barbara hudson fails on C and C++ inferiority to P a s c a l on string processing security + speed advantage https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=33430&page=1&cid=889635#commentwrap [soylentnews.org] also caught in lies while quoted stalking others by unidentifiable anonymous posts at the end of that post.

  • (Score: 1) by doke on Friday September 13 2019, @05:35PM

    by doke (6955) on Friday September 13 2019, @05:35PM (#893755)

    I can't find any details about the construction. How it will resist punctures from micrometeorites and space debris? What about radiation? The BEAM expansion photos suggest it has some sort of "plates" on the outside?

    https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2016/05/28/beam-expanded-to-full-size/ [nasa.gov]

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