The team for the NASA-Bigelow Aerospace habitat test lines up in front of the Bigelow Mars Transporter Testing Unit at the companys Nevada headquarters. (Bigelow Aerospace Photo)
Bigelow Aerospace opened up its ground-based prototype for a space station module or perhaps even a Mars transport habitat for inspection today at its headquarters in North Las Vegas.
The open house centered on the Mars Transporter Testing Unit, an all-steel mockup of the companys expandable, fabric-covered B330 space module. For two weeks, a NASA-Bigelow team will be testing the suitability of the B330 concept for crewed deep-space missions.
Bigelows prototype is one of six ground-based demonstration projects funded as part of NASAs NextSTEP-2 program. The other companies building full-sized NextSTEP-2 prototypes for space habitats include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Sierra Nevada Corp. and Nanoracks.
Northrop Grummans modified Cygnus cargo carrier has already won NASAs nod for use as the crewed mini-habitation module on the future moon-orbiting Gateway outpost, mainly because it was the only one judged likely to be built in time for a 2024 lunar landing.
However, Bigelow Aerospace and other contractors are hoping their concepts will remain in the running for future deep-space facilities.
Bigelows expandable space structures are sent into orbit in a folded-up, space-saving configuration, and then filled with air for deployment and use.
Robert Bigelow, the founder of Bigelow Aerospace, noted in a statement issued today that the B330 design evolved from a NASA concept for an expandable habitat capable of carrying a crew to Mars.
This is important, Bigelow said. In deep space, expandable structures have the potential to provide better protection against secondary radiation than traditional aluminum structures.
Expandable structures have been put through in-space tests for more than a decade. Bigelow started out with two uncrewed modules that were delivered to orbit by Russian rockets in 2006 and 2007 and are still flying today. In 2016, an expandable test module was successfully installed onto one of the International Space Stations ports.
Bigelow Aerospace has offered the much larger B330 so named because it offers 330 cubic meters (12,000 cubic feet) of interior volume for use as a supersized addition to the space station, a free-flying space outpost in Earth orbit, or a moon-orbiting supply depot.
The B330 is built to accommodate four people indefinitely, or five people for a months-long stay. Its equipped with two galleys, two toilets and two independent propulsion systems that make it the ideal habitat for a long-duration space mission, Robert Bigelow said.
Bigelow said the first B330 could be built 42 months after the go-ahead for construction is given.
This months two-week test involves a team of eight NASA astronauts as well as more than 60 NASA engineers, test leads and support staff at the companys cavernous Nevada facility.
In contrast to the other NextSTEP Phase 2 participants, we chose to keep our ground units at our facility so we could continue to develop and test, Bigelow said. We also have may units that are too large and complex to feasibly transport back and forth.
NASA isnt likely to be the only potential customer for the B330. Bigelow has spoken repeatedly about providing space modules as research platforms for non-NASA clients, or as destinations for space tourists.
In June, Bigelow Aerospaces service subsidiary, Bigelow Space Operations, struck a deal with SpaceX to arrange commercial rides to the International Space Station at a price of roughly $52 million a seat.
Eventually, Bigelows customers might well be staying on a B330, either attached to the ISS or flying on its own.
Update for 10 a.m. PT Sept. 13: In a report from The Verge, Bigelow says the SpaceX deal for trips to the International Space Station has been put on hold, due to the red tape associated with arranging such trips. Instead, Bigelow is thinking about a reality-TV show that would pick contestants to launch to a free-flying B330. Which sounds a lot like reality-TV impresario Mark Burnetts plan for Destination Mir back in 2000.
Read the original:
- Liberty London | Designer Department Store | Luxury Brands ... - January 5th, 2020
- Sale | Liberty London Sale | Liberty London - January 5th, 2020
- Liberty's defense stifles NJIT, 65-38 - WSET - January 5th, 2020
- Liberty boys basketball doesnt beat buzzer, but does beat Whitehall in OT - lehighvalleylive.com - January 5th, 2020
- New York Liberty to reveal new head coach on Wednesday morning - Elite Sports NY - January 5th, 2020
- Liberty Mutual Insurance Selected by Uber to Cover Drivers in New England, South Carolina and Puerto Rico - PRNewswire - January 5th, 2020
- Liberty Women To Open New Year with Meets At Florida, FGCU - SwimSwam - January 5th, 2020
- Liberty Vittert: Got a resolution for the New Year? Here's a statistician's advice on how to keep it - Fox Business - January 5th, 2020
- Liberty Hill woman accused of beating that sent son to hospital - Austin American-Statesman - January 5th, 2020
- Liberty, Equality, and Identity - The Bulwark - January 5th, 2020
- Josh Richardson and others are right to call out Sixers' effort - Liberty Ballers - January 5th, 2020
- This Week in Mid-Major: Liberty takes a page from UVa's playbook, Bryant's shot-swatter, the top 10 and more - The Athletic - January 5th, 2020
- YEAR END: Liberty County baseball coach and wife electrocuted, son injured at baseball field - The News Herald - January 5th, 2020
- Patriots hook up Navy Football with nice transportation to Liberty Bowl - 98.5 The Sports Hub - December 26th, 2019
- Stephen Calvert, Liberty Top Georgia Southern 23-16 to Win 2019 Cure Bowl - Bleacher Report - December 26th, 2019
- Donald Trump, Jerry Falwell Jr., and Liberty Universitys Football Vision - The Ringer - December 26th, 2019
- Akron faces Liberty in Washington - WVVA TV - December 26th, 2019
- Liberty Media Floated the Idea of Buying IndyCar Alongside its F1 Acquisition - Essentially Sports - December 26th, 2019
- Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 and 2 Pro true wireless buds are down to $60 and $110 ($40 off) - Android Police - December 26th, 2019
- Diventures' new 60-foot-pool in North Liberty is heated and ready for scuba divers in training - The Gazette - December 26th, 2019
- Liberty and the Birth of Jesus Go Hand in Hand - Liberty Nation - December 26th, 2019
- Liberty family seeks justice after 'targeted attack' of their dog in its own back yard - WYFF4 Greenville - December 26th, 2019
- 820 Liberty Avenue went from yow to wow creating four large lofts in an extensive renovation - NEXTpittsburgh - December 26th, 2019
- Kiggins, Liberty theaters strive for creativity - Columbian.com - The Columbian - December 26th, 2019
- Watch the parade for the 61st AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Local 24! - WATN - Local 24 - December 26th, 2019
- Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro review: The best-sounding earbuds of 2019 [Video] - 9to5Google - December 26th, 2019
- Dem Voters Caught Between the Geriatrics and Socialist Swampsters - Liberty Nation - December 26th, 2019
- Games to Watch This Weekend for Liberty's Bowl Hopes (11/26 edition) - A Sea of Red - November 27th, 2019
- Heather Stearns of Tallahassee, Florida, Has Recently Been Appointed President of LIBERTY Dental Plan of Florida, Inc. - Business Wire - November 27th, 2019
- PHOTOS: Umbrellas, Tables, and Seating Appear at Liberty Square... - wdwnt.com - November 27th, 2019
- Newark Liberty International Airport is Actually in Elizabeth, NJ- (County of Union) Now the Destination is Visible to Passengers - Yahoo Finance - November 27th, 2019
- Liberty vs. Morgan State odds: 2019 The Islands of the Bahamas Showcase picks, predictions from proven model - CBS Sports - November 27th, 2019
- Liberty defeats UMKC to win the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase - A Sea of Red - November 27th, 2019
- The Liberty Foundation Awards $422,000 to 18 Nonprofit Organizations | Business Gallery - The Weekly Journal - November 27th, 2019
- Liberty Science Center's Inaugural Genius of New Jersey to Honor Innovators Who Make the State a World Leader in Cutting-Edge Applied Science -... - November 27th, 2019
- Sixty minutes for 60 more: Liberty focuses on final chance to become bowl eligible - Lynchburg News and Advance - November 27th, 2019
- What to Be Thankful For | Cato @ Liberty - Cato Institute - November 27th, 2019
- Liberty's John Malone sees HBO losing out in the streaming wars - CNBC - November 27th, 2019
- Count liberty among our blessings this Thanksgiving - cleveland.com - November 27th, 2019
- Liberty CEO sees Sirius well positioned in audio boom with exclusive content like Howard Stern - CNBC - November 27th, 2019
- Liberty Securities Selects Broadridge to Simplify Post-Trade Processing for Hong Kong Equities and Derivatives - Bobsguide - November 27th, 2019
- Liberty defensive depth to be tested against UMass - Lynchburg News and Advance - October 29th, 2019
- The 'cautionary tale' of Liberty University - The College Fix - October 29th, 2019
- Phase 1 of new signage in Liberty completed - Times Herald-Record - October 29th, 2019
- Boyd Matheson: Liberty without morality and religious freedom is but window dressing - Deseret News - October 29th, 2019
- Rutgers Million-Dollar Guarantee To Liberty Proved To Be A Wise Investment - Forbes - October 29th, 2019
- Washington-Liberty QB Andrew Bolfek throws 6 TDs to win Player of the Week - WTOP - October 29th, 2019
- In the region: No. 6 UVa field hockey tops No. 17 Liberty - Lynchburg News and Advance - October 29th, 2019
- TSA: Man Tried To Bring Loaded Gun On Plane At Newark Liberty International Airport - CBS Pittsburgh - October 29th, 2019
- If You Had Bought One Liberty Properties (NYSE:OLP) Shares Five Years Ago Youd Have Made 23% - Simply Wall St - October 29th, 2019
- LTE: The Il-liberty of Protest - The Daily Northwestern - October 29th, 2019
- Liberty Apartments in south Cape still set to open in April - Southeast Missourian - October 29th, 2019
- Intrepid Theatre returns with 'The Thousandth Night' at Liberty Station - The San Diego Union-Tribune - October 29th, 2019
- Rutgers won its 2nd game this year by defeating Liberty | What did visiting recruits think? - NJ.com - October 29th, 2019
- Visit the Statue of Liberty, feel her unifying message | Opinion - NJ.com - October 29th, 2019
- Liberty Health Sciences Announces Opening Of 19th Florida Dispensary In Pensacola; Second Panhandle Location - Yahoo Finance - October 24th, 2019
- Liberty adds UConn to 2020 football schedule, moves UVa game to 2023 - Lynchburg News and Advance - October 24th, 2019
- Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not in US Constitution - Call Newspapers - October 24th, 2019
- British government notes 'deterioration' of religious liberty in several countries - Crux: Covering all things Catholic - October 24th, 2019
- What are the odds? Liberty twin has twin daughters born on his birthday - WDAF FOX4 Kansas City - October 24th, 2019
- Liberty Development partnering with St. Clement Church in Lakewood to build Madison Avenue townhomes - cleveland.com - October 24th, 2019
- Falwell threatens to sue journalist behind explosive report, demands retraction - Lynchburg News and Advance - October 24th, 2019
- G Adventures and Liberty Travel Form Preferred Partnership - TravelPulse - October 24th, 2019
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights Football is set to welcome the Liberty Flames to town -- B1G Football - Rivals.com - October 24th, 2019
- Her Immigrant Story: 'Mother Of Exiles' Documentary Reveals Statue Of Liberty's Little-Known History - Women You Should Know - October 24th, 2019
- Religious Liberty Leaders Emphasize Connecting With the Marginalized - Adventist Review - October 24th, 2019
- Is Liberty Property Trust (LPT) Going to Burn These Hedge Funds? - Yahoo Finance - October 24th, 2019
- Slavery and liberty: A new exhibit explores the Thomas Jefferson paradox - Archinect - October 24th, 2019
- Hate LAX? Why New York's Newark Liberty International Airport is a relative breeze - Stuff.co.nz - October 24th, 2019
- Liberty Ranch FFA students show children where their food comes from - The Galt Herald - October 24th, 2019
- Trenton Catholic boys soccer earns share of BCSL Liberty crown - The Trentonian - October 24th, 2019
- Letter to the Editor Liberty or Tyranny | Letters To The Editor - Richfield Reaper - October 24th, 2019
- Former Liberty-Eylau coach accused of sexual misconduct with students - TXK Today - October 24th, 2019
- Liberty Health Sciences Appoints George Gremse To The Board Of Directors - PRNewswire - October 16th, 2019
- ZOM Senior Living, in a venture with Liberty Senior Living and funds managed by Ares Management Corporation's Real Estate Group, announces... - October 16th, 2019
- EAST LIBERTY DEVELOPMENT: Vote Wednesday could help clear way for controversial $50 million project in East Liberty - WPXI Pittsburgh - October 16th, 2019
- Take A Look! | Black Bear Spotted Swimming In Liberty Reservoir - CBS Baltimore - October 16th, 2019
- Religious Liberty, Nondiscrimination, and the Left - National Review - October 16th, 2019
- 'Citizens for Liberty and Labor' PAC drops another $40K against Woodward's campaign - KXLY Spokane - October 16th, 2019
- Kelvin Edwards honored to have his jersey retired at Liberty - Lynchburg News and Advance - October 16th, 2019