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  Bigelow and ULA to deploy space habitats

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Author Topic:   Bigelow and ULA to deploy space habitats
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 38149
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-11-2016 06:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance and Bigelow Aerospace release
Bigelow Aerospace and United Launch Alliance Join Forces to Foster a New Era of Sustainable Commercialization in Low Earth Orbit

Alliance represents the first-ever commercial partnership between a launch provider and a habitat provider

Bigelow Aerospace (BA) and United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced they are partnering to develop and deploy habitable volumes in Low Earth orbit (LEO). The volumes will be based on the Bigelow Aerospace B330 expandable module with the initial launch to orbit in 2020 on ULA's Atlas V 552 configuration launch vehicle. The B330 will have 330 cubic meters (12,000 cu ft) of internal space. The craft will support zero-gravity research including scientific missions and manufacturing processes. Beyond its industrial and scientific purposes, however, it has potential as a destination for space tourism and a craft for missions destined for the Moon and Mars.

"We are exploring options for the location of the initial B330 including discussions with NASA on the possibility of attaching it to the International Space Station (ISS)," said Robert Bigelow, founder and president of Bigelow Aerospace. "In that configuration, the B330 will enlarge the station's volume by 30 percent and function as a multipurpose testbed in support of NASA's exploration goals as well as provide significant commercial opportunities. The working name for this module is XBASE or Expandable Bigelow Advanced Station Enhancement."

"When looking for a vehicle to launch our large, unique spacecraft, ULA provides a heritage of solid mission success, schedule certainty and a cost effective solution," continued Mr. Bigelow.

Transportation to the B330 will be provided by NASA's commercial crew providers, whether the station is free flying or attached to the ISS. The traffic to just one module will more than double the number of crew flights per year.

"We could not be more pleased than to partner with Bigelow Aerospace and reserve a launch slot on our manifest for this revolutionary mission," said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO. "This innovative and game-changing advance will dramatically increase opportunities for space research in fields like materials, medicine and biology. And it enables destinations in space for countries, corporations and even individuals far beyond what is available today, effectively democratizing space. We can't begin to imagine the future potential of affordable real estate in space."

Development of Bigelow's B330 is well underway as is the integration of the B330 to the Atlas V. The companies are working together to develop the business construct, commercial product offerings and marketing plans. Once the habitat is proven and markets are established, additional B330's will be deployed to other locations, even the moon and Mars, to meet increasing demand for habitable volumes in space.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38149
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-17-2017 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bigelow Aerospace and United Launch Alliance release
Bigelow Aerospace and United Launch Alliance Announce Agreement to Place a B330 Habitat in Low Lunar Orbit

Bigelow Aerospace and United Launch Alliance (ULA) are working together to launch a B330 expandable module on ULA's Vulcan launch vehicle. The launch would place a B330 outfitted module in Low Lunar Orbit by the end of 2022 to serve as a lunar depot.

"We are excited to work with ULA on this lunar depot project," said Robert Bigelow, president of Bigelow Aerospace. "Our lunar depot plan is a strong complement to other plans intended to eventually put people on Mars. It will provide NASA and America with an exciting and financially practical success opportunity that can be accomplished in the short term. This lunar depot could be deployed easily by 2022 to support the nation's re-energized plans for returning to the Moon.

This commercial lunar depot would provide anchorage for significant lunar business development in addition to offering NASA and other governments the Moon as a new exciting location to conduct long-term exploration and astronaut training."

The B330 would launch to Low Earth Orbit on a Vulcan 562 configuration rocket, the only commercial launch vehicle in development today with sufficient performance and a large enough payload fairing to carry the habitat. Once the B330 is in orbit, Bigelow Aerospace will outfit the habitat and demonstrate it is working properly. Once the B330 is fully operational, ULA's industry-unique distributed lift capability would be used to send the B330 to lunar orbit. Distributed lift would also utilize two more Vulcan ACES launches, each carrying 35 tons of cryogenic propellant to low Earth orbit. In LEO, all of the cryogenic propellant would be transferred to one of the Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage (ACES). The now full ACES would then rendezvous with the B330 and perform multiple maneuvers to deliver the B330 to its final position in Low Lunar Orbit.

"We are so pleased to be able to continue our relationship with Bigelow Aerospace," said Tory Bruno, ULA's president and CEO. "The company is doing such tremendous work in the area of habitats for visiting, living and working off our planet and we are thrilled to be the ride that enables that reality."

Bigelow Aerospace is a destination-oriented company with a focus on expandable systems for use in a variety of space applications. These NASA heritage systems provide for greater volume, safety, opportunity and economy than the aluminum alternatives.

The B330 is a standalone commercial space station that can operate in low Earth orbit, cislunar space and beyond. A single B330 is comparable to one third of the current pressurized volume of the entire International Space Station. Bigelow Aerospace is developing two B330 commercial space station habitats that will be ready for launch any time after 2020.

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