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News Item: Why NASA is sending an inflatable house to space


SSgt Baloo
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Just now, SSgt Baloo said:

Is this the first time an inflatable habitat has been used in space, or has it been done before?

Link to the article: http://www.vox.com/2016/4/4/11360044/nasa-inflatable-house-mars-space-mission

Relevant NASAA link: http://www.nasa.gov/feature/beam-facts-figures-faqs

Because it's lighter, cheaper, and takes up less space than solid modules, and that's PERFECT for large spacecraft.

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2 hours ago, SSgt Baloo said:

Is this the first time an inflatable habitat has been used in space, or has it been done before?
 

It's been done before. Bigelow launched two subscale demonstrators, Genesis I and II, in 2006 and 2007. They are both still up there.

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Just now, kiwi1960 said:

Cannot see it working, even if micrometeorites NEVER hit it, the fear will always be there.

Bigelow has said that the flexible hull is just as strong as a solid one.

Edited by Spaceception
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54 minutes ago, kiwi1960 said:

Cannot see it working, even if micrometeorites NEVER hit it, the fear will always be there.

 

That fear is still there for normal hull. Heck, on the first Moon missions I remember once reading about how the crew was acutely aware that if they were to elbow the wall hard enough or lose control of a pair of needle nose in certain areas there was a decent possibility of poking a hole in the hull.

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3 hours ago, SSgt Baloo said:

I remember seeing this around the web:

p279c.jpg

Today I found (part of) the rest of the story: http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4308/ch9.htm

I once even drew a starship (fan art) for the Star Trek universe of an early UESPA vessel with an inflatable hull, the Bireme.

Bireme.gif

That kind of didn't count, it was almost useless for use anything more than a tech demonstrator, as it was too vulnerable to puncture by MMOD.

1 hour ago, Findthepin1 said:

Do you believe them? That doesn't sound right to me. 

It uses Kevlar, so that's one reason...

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4 hours ago, kiwi1960 said:

Cannot see it working, even if micrometeorites NEVER hit it, the fear will always be there.

 

I am pretty sure fabric has been shown to be a great absorber of impacts, so they may be even more safe than (single-walled) metal hulls.

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4 hours ago, kiwi1960 said:

Cannot see it working, even if micrometeorites NEVER hit it, the fear will always be there.

 

Micrometeorites will blast a hole in a rigid walled module, what makes it especially dangerous to an inflatable module?

Edited by Robotengineer
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11 minutes ago, SSgt Baloo said:

A year old, but relevant: 

 

 

Great, but do we need another ISS? Were are going to toss the current one in a decade.

Alot of the weight of the ISS is not dedicated to habitation space, each of those solar arrays weighs 14 tons. So its not a 1/5 reduction in weight, the launch profile is a definite improvement.
But we must remember that each ISS module goes up with most of the equipment installed. If you send up a compacted module, you won't also have space for the equipment, so you will have to bring up that equipment later and install it.

 

 

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2 hours ago, PB666 said:

Great, but do we need another ISS? Were are going to toss the current one in a decade.

Alot of the weight of the ISS is not dedicated to habitation space, each of those solar arrays weighs 14 tons. So its not a 1/5 reduction in weight, the launch profile is a definite improvement.
But we must remember that each ISS module goes up with most of the equipment installed. If you send up a compacted module, you won't also have space for the equipment, so you will have to bring up that equipment later and install it.

 

 

We do need another ISS, we need to keep doing zero-G research. Also, solar cells are becoming more efficient, and do not need to be as big as the ISS ones.

2 hours ago, SSgt Baloo said:

Why is everyone else discussing whether this is a good idea instead of just discussing the technology and how it works? We aren't the committee that approves funding. We're hobbyists discussing science and technology.

Because that's what people here like to do, apparently. We make spacecraft, after all (virtually).

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Cause most people here are hobbyist engineer, not hobbyist scientists. Efficiency is their creed and waste is their enemy. So of course they would want to talk about the feasibility of a project first.

"Ask whether you should do it, before wondering if you could do it." - a kerbal engineer

 

Back to topic though, for those interested in the technology and want to see how they plan to make things happen, use Google patent and search for Bigelow Aerospace. They have a lot of patent related to expandable spacecraft modules. I made a few threads in the past about them.

Edited by RainDreamer
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12 hours ago, PB666 said:

If you send up a compacted module, you won't also have space for the equipment, so you will have to bring up that equipment later and install it.

The bigger expandable modules like the B330 are designed to have the equipment in the core, and once expanded the habitable space is between the core and the shell.

Edited by StrandedonEarth
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