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Inflatable Private Space Station Launched

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the springing-a-leak-a-real-bummer dept.

233

Anonymous_Space_Ranger writes "CNN is reporting that the first steps to have a private space station are underway in Russia. While today's launch is unmanned, it is designed to orbit the planet for 5 years while the durability of the design is tested and future flights are planned around it." From the article: "[Robert] Bigelow envisions building a private orbiting space complex by 2015 that would be made up of several expandable Genesis-like modules linked together and could be used as a hotel, or perhaps a science lab or college. He has committed $500 million toward the project."

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233 comments

Space college? (4, Funny)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707530)

I wonder how well a beer bong works in zero gravity...

Re:Space college? (3, Funny)

bmf*2 (971010) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707814)

"I wonder how well a beer bong works in zero gravity..."
I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that it tastes so good when it touches your lips!

Re:Space college? (1)

avirrey (972127) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707962)

8 space stations converge on to a central space station. The center one's occupant has at this point filled his inflatable home with BEER and quickly releases the intake valve and mosie on over to his friends station. The 8 stations in the mean time will house 1 individual (with exception of visiting friend), and be 90% deflated... On the count of 3 the computer systems will simultaneously connect to the central beer system and initialize their beer intake cables. The beer would instantly shoot from the center station to the exterior ones and splash every where. At this point everyone would jump on IM and type "WOOT! DET WUZ SWEEETAH! Do it again!" to each other.

Re:Space college? (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708055)

Imagine the cost of flying that much beer from Earth. I bet the first experiement would be "The sustainability of growing certain grains in Earth orbit for the purpose of distilling tasty beverages in order to maintain mission sanity."

Re:Space college? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15708019)

Is anyone else picturing a bouncy house? Like the ones at kids birthday parties?

Re:Space college? (1)

WheresMyDingo (659258) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708069)

I wonder how well a beer bong works in zero gravity...

My guess is that in Space College, it will be a different type of bong...

Inflatable space station? (2, Funny)

ScottLindner (954299) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707531)

I hope they don't let go of the string and let it float away!

Re:Inflatable space station? (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707560)

Sorry, I didn't RTFA. Does it say anything about inflatable dolls staffing this station??? Just a thought....

Mission Scrubbed (4, Funny)

lecithin (745575) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707533)

"While today's launch is unmanned, it is designed to orbit the planet for 5 years while the durability of the design is tested and future flights are planned around it."

Unfortunatly, the mission ended almost as fast as it started when they couldn't figure out how to get the air pump to work while in orbit.

In almost related news, here is a cool pic taken today of the ISS transiting the sun during today's EVA:

http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/satcom_transit s/discoveryiss_single.jpg [wanadoo-members.co.uk]

To The Mods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707632)

I think the parent was joking about the air pump. (As in, "how does this darn tire pump work?!")

In addition, don't mod up any of the unfounded comments about space junk, private corporations taking over our lives, or "it will never work". Suprisingly, it's obvious that none of them have been following Bigelow's work over the past few years to make this a reality. Not only did they start with NASA technology that WORKS, but they've been firing all kinds of projectiles at this thing, trying to see how it will react in orbit.

Where'd all the space people go? Slashdot used to be full of them. Now all we here are stupid inflatable doll jokes. (Not that those weren't here before, but now that's ALL that's here.)

Re:To The Mods (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707656)

To the poster:

STFU. If you don't like it, leave.

Re:To The Mods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707719)

STFU. If you don't like it, leave.

So, in your opinion we should never build anything up? Only enjoy it while its fun, burn it up, then throw it away?

Why don't you go ruin someone else's forum? There are still a few of us who care about the value of the comments in Slashdot.

Re:To The Mods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707783)

I am really sorry about your condition. You should get back on your meds and stay off the computer.

Re:Mission Scrubbed (1)

syd2000 (318027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707875)

Yes, RIP Syd. We'll miss him dearly. I think I'll go ride my bike now. "It's got a basket, bell that rings and things to make it look good. I'd give it to you if I could but I borrowed it."

Inflatable? (1, Insightful)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707539)

With ovre 4 million pounds of space junk flying around at speeds up to 17,500... I for one would NOT want to be in an inflatable structure. Wow!

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Inflatable? (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707572)

Not to mention all that nasty radiation.

Re:Inflatable? (2, Informative)

brother bloat (888898) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708035)

Not to mention all that nasty radiation.

Not to mention all that debris and junk that will no doubt be floating around inside this structure. Something Hollywood doesn't portray is the sheer amount of crap (sometimes literally fecal matter) and general gross-ness in weightlessness. Remember Newton's laws? If you cough, saliva travels until it hits something -- then it sticks, since it's moist. In the high humidity environment, bacterias, molds, and other fun stuff run rampant. Got crumbs in space? You're going to be breathing them in, big time.

Severe skin infections and aspiration pneumonia are common in space. Going to the bathroom is a science experiment gone bad (think vacuum cleaner). If you stay in space more than 11 months, your skeleton and muscles become weakened permenantly. Fluids shift towards your head, causing your face to become puffy and swollen.

All in all, in spite of the view (which would probably be spectacular), I would personally never stay in a weightless environment for an extended period of time, such as implied by a hotel or college setting.

I say these things not to be a troll - I think it's an admirable idea, and my hat is off to whoever decides to live on this contraption. I just want to remind people that space is dangerous and dirty; it's not the sterile wonderland from the movies we've all come to know and love.

Re:Inflatable? (4, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707590)

With ovre 4 million pounds of space junk flying around at speeds up to 17,500


Well, according to the TFA:

Equipped with a dozen cameras to be aimed at the Earth, it is supposed to circle the planet for at least five years while scientists study its durability.


So, the idea is to determine exactly what the risks would be.

After all, to coin a phrase, "Space is big...". If you put it in the right place, made it able to heal from smaller bits hitting it, and limited your stay to a few weeks, your statistically greatest risk would be from getting up there and back. If you're 100x as likely to blow up on the way up or burn up on the way down than to have your space station smashed by space junk, it's not worth worrying about the space junk.

Re:Inflatable? (3, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707625)

If you're 100x as likely to blow up on the way up or burn up on the way down than to have your space station smashed by space junk, it's not worth worrying about the space junk.

The world is full up with fussbudgets. Perhaps we should take all the phone sanatizers and . . .

KFG

Re:Inflatable? (1)

tmasssey (546878) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707943)

And die because the world is hit with an epidemic that would have been stopped out by the phone sanatizers?

What was the question again?

Re:Inflatable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707845)

A dozen cameras? So let me get this right. The Russians can't fufill their end of the bargain for building the ISS, meaning that we have to do it (and pay for it) on their behalf, AFTER giving them billion$. But they have enough wherewithal to make and launch this SPY SATELLITE (a dozen cameras looking at earth?) and make a claim that it's a space station? Is the cold war back on again?

Re:Inflatable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707902)

I see someone has failed to understand the word "private" and "american" (in the phrase "American entrepreneur") I guess the education system sure has gone downhill. So tell me, what DOES it feel liek to be an utter moron?

I'm sure the Russians have more than enough spy sats as it is and probably send a few up regularly. Odd how the defense of ones people is usually considered an important mission. Also a camera aimed at earth is a rather worthless spy satelite since the good ones need expensive lenses and so on (for The Russians can't fufill their end of the bargain for building the ISS

You mean unlike NASA has for years failed to send up the shuttle missions which it is required to do for the ISS to be finished... oh wait. If it wasn't for the Russians we'd have a multi-billion dolalr piece of space junk in orbit right now.

Re:Inflatable? (5, Informative)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707605)

At those speeds, debris punches holes in metal just as easily.

Re:Inflatable? (2, Interesting)

harrkev (623093) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707775)

Well, there was a case that I remember where a chip of paint in orbit gouged out a good-sized dent in the space shuttle window. In this case, the window was manly enough to stop a paint chip.

An inflatable, on the other hand, has to be flexible in order to allow it to inflate. That seems to imply that something like a paint chip might just well zip right through a wall or two.

What I have always thought was a good idea (but I am not a rocket scientist) is to use some type of expanding foam to fill the inflatable. It would be heavier than air, but a lot more durable. You can get cans of this stuff for a few dollars from your local hardware store, and one can will expand it volume probably 50X. Once the stuff dries, it is rigid. Plus, you could use thinner baloons, as the foam would provide the durability. I wonder how well it would work in space...

Re:Inflatable? (2, Interesting)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707940)

An inflatable, on the other hand, has to be flexible in order to allow it to inflate. That seems to imply that something like a paint chip might just well zip right through a wall or two.

That depends on how much "give" there is. With the right kind of cushioning effect to absorb the energy, it might actually be pretty durable.

Re:Inflatable? (5, Funny)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707608)

Your opinion makes sense to me, on account of:

1) All inflatable structures are essentially thin-walled latex balloons that will pop under the slightest stress.

2) Rigid structures in orbit are constantly stricken by space junk, but do not fail because of their thick armor plating.

3) Nobody is tracking the larger space junk.

4) Nobody has ever conducted experiments to learn more about the specific risk posed by the smaller space junk, meteoroids, etc.

5) And, of course, because the opinion of a random /.er always trumps the opinion of people studying a problem as part of a business plan to profit from successfully solving the problem.

parent needs a sarcastic tag (0, Redundant)

maddogsparky (202296) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707746)

I was all fired up to start responding the parent...then felt a little silly when I realized the author _did_ know what they were talking about and chose to use sarcasm.

Hey, Taco! Can we add a sarcasm selection for the moderators?

Re:parent needs a sarcastic tag (0, Offtopic)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708023)

Can we add a sarcasm selection for the moderators?


Ah but would it be a +1 Sarcasm, or a -1 Sarcasm?

Perhaps one of each would be best.

Perhaps they.... (2, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707888)

Will put it in a different orbit from the bulk of the space junk...then there would be a great void between in and the orbiting debris that we could call the "star-chasm"?

Sincerely,

The A.S.S.
[Amazingly Stupendous Sarcasmo]

Re:Inflatable? (4, Informative)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707916)

3) Nobody is tracking the larger space junk.

NORAD - from 1968. Yes, the space junk is still tracked today.
http://archives.cbc.ca/IDCC-1-71-1552-10481/confli ct_war/norad/ [archives.cbc.ca]

Or were you using the sarcasm tag? I could not tell.

Re:Inflatable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15708013)

obvious sarcasm.

Re:Inflatable? (0, Offtopic)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708048)

Summary of parent comment:
1) ... [Pop] Latex Balloons ...
2) [Strike] rigid structures ... [with] space junk ...
3) ... Track ... Larger Space Junk
4) ??????
5) ... profit [!!!1one!] ...

Re:Inflatable? (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707690)

I doubt even the space shuttle would protect you from anything as small as a bolt hitting it. A number of years ago a single paint fleck hit the windshield of the Shuttle and took out a large pit in the glass. Something even as large as a bolt would be catastropic. There's a lot of space junk up their, but most of it is trackable and can be steered away from in plenty of time.

With something inflatable, thin walls might be an advantage for small untrackable space-junk. It'd likely pass right through the whole structure and impart little energy to it (doing little damage). There'd be holes of course, but with the proper material that wouldn't rip the holes would be small and repairable.

Re:Inflatable? (0)

Princeofcups (150855) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707835)

> With something inflatable, thin walls might be an advantage for small untrackable space-
> junk. It'd likely pass right through the whole structure and impart little energy to it (doing
> little damage). There'd be holes of course, but with the proper material that wouldn't rip
> the holes would be small and repairable.

Maybe passing through an occupant on the way through. That doesn't sound very safe to me.

jfs

Re:Inflatable? (4, Informative)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707935)


Maybe passing through an occupant on the way through. That doesn't sound very safe to me.

Welcome to space. It's not safe. Neither is mountain climbing or skydiving, yet people do these activities all the time. Also you should probbably be comparing the risk of being hit by space junk with the risk of dying on re-entry or liftoff. I'd be willing to bet that the risks posed by space junk are a LOT smaller than liftoff/re-entry.

Also try to remeber that although there's a lot of junk, it's spread out over a VERY large area. The size of human being is relatively small, so it's not terribly likely that someone would be hit by space junk.

Re:Inflatable? (1)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708029)

In reality, the inflatible structure in question is better protection vs impacts. There are 2 reasons. First, in this case inflatable means kevlar armoured backed with carbon fiber (the two strongest things we know how to build).

Second, impacts in space work like this: small object A encounters large object B. A becomes a rapidly expanding vapor. An amount of stuff from B aproximately equal in mass to A becomes a rapidly expanding vapor.

OK, so there is nothing you can do to prevent various parts of your spaceship from becoming vapor - so you use that to your advantage. You put a thin armour layer a few inches out from your ship's hull. When A hits it, they both become vapor, moving rapidly towards the inner hull - but before they get there, they are spread out (remember the rapidly expanding part) and do no damage. This turns out to be easier and cheaper to do in an inflatible structure.

Re:Inflatable? (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707717)

Actually, Transhab [wikipedia.org] was a pretty awesome concept. Lots more livable space for the same price.

Re:Inflatable? (1)

tmasssey (546878) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707968)

This is a decendent of TransHab: the article you linked to discusses that. Bigelow bought the rights to the design, and Genesis was born.

Re:Inflatable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707797)

According to BBC News:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/5173388.stm [bbc.co.uk]

"It is built around a rigid central core and two solid bulkheads. The inflatable walls are composed of a range of materials including Kevlar, often used in bullet-proof vests, and a fibrous textile called Vectran.

The craft is strengthened to resist collisions with space debris
The walls are designed to be airtight and tough, to withstand the impact of space debris and small meteorites.

On a full-scale module, each wall would be 40cm (16 inches) thick."


Or we could just pray [pray20.com] that nothing hits them :]

Does this.. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707544)

iflatable space station come with inflatable space chicks?

Ahhhh, thank you!

introducing the station to debris (-1, Redundant)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707545)

With the amount of junk orbiting the planet at high speed, I question if the station will even survive the first week.

Re:introducing the station to debris (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707600)

There may be a lot of junk in orbit, but there's also a lot of space up there, the chances of being hit by anything significant probably aren't that high.

Plus, ain't you ever thrown anything at a balloon? It'll just bounce off, man ;D

Re:introducing the station to debris (1)

digidave (259925) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707774)

Presumably the space junk is orbiting Earth rather than ceaslessly falling into it from an unknown source of space junk. With any luck the space station will also be orbiting Earth. Any dangerous debris will have to be orbiting the Earth at the same height as the station, so it will therefore also be orbiting at about the same speed.

So while the debris may orbit at dangerous velocities, its relative speed to that of the space station will not be so high. Besides which, as others have stated, debris is tracked and can be avoided if necessary. Not to mention that generally when someone builds a space station they take into account small impacts.

Re:introducing the station to debris (2, Insightful)

fizzup (788545) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707892)

You are correct that the magnitude of the rotation vector is the same for any two circular orbits of the same diameter, however there are two things that you have not considered:

1) Orbits are elliptical, so orbiters can collide at non-zero relative speeds.

2) The direction of the rotation vector need not be the same between any two orbits. One orbit may be pole-to-pole, while another may track the equator. Or one may be a "left-hand" orbit around the equator, while another may be a "right-hand" orbit. The second case is the worst: the space junk could hit the station at a relative speed of twice the orbital speed of the station.

All the comments on this post about designing the station to withstand the impact of any untracked space junk still applies, though.

kaaahhhhnnn! (2, Funny)

putch (469506) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707555)

private orbiting space complex by 2015 that would be made up of several expandable Genesis-like modules
shit, didnt we learn ANYTHING from Star Trek 2 & 3?

Sign me up for 12 hours of course work! (2, Funny)

El_Smack (267329) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707571)


"could be used as a hotel, or perhaps a science lab or college."

Riiiight. They will send people to college... in space. Well technically LEO, but whatever. On the other hand, drinking and having sex in 0 G does sound fun.

Re:Sign me up for 12 hours of course work! (2, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707623)

On the other hand, drinking and having sex in 0 G does sound fun.


You underestimate the value of gravity when it comes to puking those drinks back up.

-matthew

Re:Sign me up for 12 hours of course work! (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707696)

having sex in 0 G does sound fun.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Think about it.

Or maybe you're into bondage.

KFG

Re:Sign me up for 12 hours of course work! (2, Funny)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707721)

having sex in 0 G does sound fun.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Think about it.

Or maybe you're into bondage.
since the walls are inflatable, just put her head into the wall and have fun... oh wait... how's that any different than on earth

Re:Sign me up for 12 hours of course work! (1)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708074)

No bondage is necessary, just push yourself to the center of the room. Consider yourself and your partner as a 2 body (ahem) system - there are no external forces, nothing entering or leaving the 2 body system, etc. So you just stay where you started, as long as you hang onto your partner.

Really, I don't think this is going to be the problem everyone thinks it will be - humans are very adaptible!

Re:Sign me up for 12 hours of course work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707706)

Drinking in 0g?
Sure, could be amusing, but there are a couple of small issues with it. Number 1, a carbonated beverage wouldn't fizz as expected. Without a definate "up" for the bubbles to float to and out of the drink, you may just end up with one large bubble (or a great many smaller bubbles) of CO2 in the middle of your rapidly-expanding beer. Further, I don't want to have to clean up floating puddles of vomit.

Sex in 0g?
Good news and bad news here. The good news? Women don't menstruate in 0g. This means no kids. The bad side? Since gravity can't assist the motions involved, it becomes more demanding.

Re:Sign me up for 12 hours of course work! (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707874)

Maybe they could trail a huge banner behind it for advertising purposes (Trojan condoms: chosen by 9 out of 10 visitors of our orbiting sex-station!)

Your Signature is incorrect (or non-sequitor) (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707985)

There are 01 kinds of cars in the world. The General Lee, and everything else.


The problem with this statement is that it implies the usage of binary but as such is nonsensical. There is a dichotomy created in the second sentence so in the first sentence you should write that there are 2 kinds of cars in the world. Now if you wanted to notate this in binary you could write:

"There are 010b kinds of cars in the world."
The 010 representing the number two and the "b" notating the binary. If you wanted to be sneaky you could leave off the "b". As you have it written all you are saying is that there is one kind of car in the world. 01 in Binary is equal to one. It is the next increment up from zero which would be 00 or 000.

If you wanted to be even more geeky you could write:
"There are 10 kinds of cars in the world. The General Lee, and everything else."

This just in! (2, Interesting)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707580)

This just in! British secret agent lauches into orbit on an emergency launch of china's Shenzou space vehicle on a joint mission to combat the orbital battlestation of new supervillian!
On a slightly more serious note, am I the only one who is weary of the "private" exploration of space, where the projects are controlled by individuals/companies rather than by the people as a whole? I mean, yeah its great for scientific advancment and all.. but the potential for abuse seems pretty severe....

Re:This just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707734)

Unfortunately, most of "the people" don't give a damn about space exploration and resent their tax dollars being spent on it. Also, there's too much red tape and good-ol-boyism in the current public space program for it to be cost efficient, or for it to really reflect the will of "the people". It will be a private crew in a private ship that lands on Mars first; ditto for mining the asteroids. Private space exploitation will render government programs irrelevent and government technology obsolete within a couple of decades.

Re:This just in! (3, Insightful)

mikeee (137160) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707828)

the potential for abuse seems pretty severe.... ...because, you know, governments never abuse anything.

Re:This just in! (1)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707933)

The differance, in theory at least, is that a government agency like the RSA or NASA is accountable directly to the people, whereas John.Q.Internet-Billionare is accountable only to his creditors, and if he's -really- inept possibly his local police.

Re:This just in! (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707995)

And if he does something that "bad/abusive", John.Q.Internet-Billionare is accountable to the government, which is accountable to the people..

Inflatable != weak (4, Insightful)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707591)

Look at the Zodiac boats used as landing craft by the Navy SEALS. They are inflatable, but they are anything but weak. They are designed to operate in enviroments that we can only dream of and they survive. I am interested in following how this test project survives over the next five years. I am not entirely convinved that it will work (nothing in space exploration or habitation is ever 100%) but I would not be so quick to write it off as a sure failure.

Re:Inflatable != weak (3, Funny)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707644)

"designed to operate in enviroments that we can only dream of"

No, I think we all have firsthand experience with water.

Re:Inflatable != weak (2, Funny)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707832)

"No, I think we all have firsthand experience with water."

This is /. Water implies showers and the outdoors...

Re:Inflatable != weak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707997)

out...doors? You mean that stretch of space between my office door and my car? I never thought of actually spending time "out" there.

Re:Inflatable != weak (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707924)

The enviroment in which special forces operate is much more complex, dangerous, and less fault tolerent than anything you have likely experienced in your life. Combat and space travel are similar in that respect.

Module Phones Home @ 3 p.m. Eastern (5, Informative)

dschmelzer (198261) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707598)

About 2.5 hours from now, the module will phone home and we will get a better sense of how the module is doing. Here are some additional resources...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/5173388.stm [bbc.co.uk]
http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/060712_genesi s-1_launch.html [space.com]
http://www.bigelowaerospace.com/ [bigelowaerospace.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigelow_Aerospace [wikipedia.org]

low news profile lately (1)

maddogsparky (202296) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707929)

I've been keeping half an eye on this company for a while, but haven't seen anything in the news for a few months before today's launch. Their website doesn't seem to have any obvious links to updates ala spacex. Does anyone have a good link for keeping track of companies like this?

Did anyone else stop reading.... (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707622)

...right before "Space Station" in the headline?

      Yeah, me neither.

I welcome our new... (1)

llZENll (545605) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707635)

"It carried photos of Bigelow employees and insects that scientists hope to study to determine how well they survive the flight."

After a critical accident leading to the ship being sucked into a wormhole, gaint insect humaniods that look like Bigelow return and use his fortune to free all insect kind...

Space Gigolo (0)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707733)

"[Robert] Bigelow envisions building a private orbiting space complex by 2015 that would be made up of several expandable Genesis-like modules linked together and could be used as a hotel, or perhaps a science lab or college. He has committed $500 million toward the project."

Someone please tell me they call that guy Deuce, that would make my day !

And now the crew of ISS... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707741)

...will have somehwere to go for "recreration"... *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*

Re:And now the crew of ISS... (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707961)

I wonder how many people would be willing to be a prostitute in space? Aside from living in zero-g, putting "Space prostitute" on your tax forms would be fun.

Re:And now the crew of ISS... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708097)

I wonder how many people would be willing to be a prostitute in space? Aside from living in zero-g, putting "Space prostitute" on your tax forms would be fun.

I can see it now... "So, Miss Buxom, it says here on your application to live on our new space station that you are a prostitute... tell us, exactly how do you see that benefitting the station?"

Interesting tidbits (1)

Odonian (730378) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707811)

From the Bigelow Aerospace Website [bigelowaerospace.com]:

  • The Genesis I craft they launched contains "Living Systems [bigelowaerospace.com]", they hope to broadcast. Insects? Plants? Golden Retrievers?
  • For the follow-up Genesis II, you can pay them $295 to launch some crap of yours up there [bigelowaerospace.com], and you "might" be able to see in on camera while in orbit.

Re:Interesting tidbits (1)

GalacticCmdr (944723) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707896)

For $295 I have a few ex-girlfriends I would not mind sending on a small trip. They did say each mission was 5 yeas long correct.

inflatable launches (1)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707894)

I used to know a guy in Blue Operations, the Bezos funded space venture run by Sci-fi guy Neal Stevenson. They were exploring ideas for cheap space launches, and one of them was a floating high altitude lighter than air lifted launch platform.

Seems like a perfect match to supply the inflatable stations.

Darwin keeps on racking up the victories (2, Funny)

fastmike (191156) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707895)

Gentlemen! What you are now travelling in, high above the comforting embrace of mother earth, is the pinnacle of inflatable technolo *pop*>FWIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIZZZZZZZZ

college wouldnt work.... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708101)

I dont think trying to smoke a hookah in space would be the easiest thing to do.... however it would make "pass the joint" a little more interesting.... GO LONG!!!!

cellular walled inflatables can be self healing (4, Interesting)

dominux (731134) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708103)

a small bit of junk will go straight through the wall, this creates a hole, and a presure imbalance. The next layer in will be rapidly sucked towards the hole, but because the imact is unlikely to be exactly normal (90 degrees) to the surface the hole made in the inner layer won't line up with the hole in the outer layer, so it will make a seal. You could probably use the pressure imbalance to hold them together or have some magic glue on the inner walls. They can have lots of layers too. I imagine the walls could be a cellular foam like structure, maybe 10cm thick. Inflating the walls is also done by exploiting the pressure imbalance, each cell basically acting as a valve. The walls don't have to be inflated to a higher pressure than the internal pressure, from the inside they would feel spongy and soft, they would kind of self inflate like those camping mattresses.
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