Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:37 AM
bananas (27,501 posts)
For Space Station, a Pod That Folds Like a Shirt and Inflates Like a Balloon
Source: New York Times
An inflatable space pod to be attached to the International Space Station in a couple of years will be like no other piece of the station.
Instead of metal, its walls will be made of floppy cloth, making it easier to launch (and then inflate).
NASA said Wednesday that it had signed a $17.8 million contract with Bigelow Aerospace to build the module, which could reach the space station as soon as 2015. That is a bargain-basement price compared with most equipment the United States and other countries send into space, and the Bigelow agreement could serve as a model for how NASA puts together missions at lower costs by using a Kmart strategy: buying off-the-shelf pieces instead of developing its own designs.
“For pennies on the dollar, NASA will be able to test a technology that could have implications for future exploration,” said Lori Garver, NASA’s deputy administrator. “It represents a new way of doing business.”
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/science/space/for-nasa-bigelow-aerospaces-balloonlike-module-is-innovative-and-a-bargain-too.html?_r=0
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For Space Station, a Pod That Folds Like a Shirt and Inflates Like a Balloon (Original post)
Response to bananas (Original post)
Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:45 AM
bananas (27,501 posts)
1. "Bigelow slipped in a bombshell announcement..."
Las Vegas TV news video at the link:
I-Team: NASA to Spend $17 Million at North Las Vegas Business
Posted: Jan 16, 2013 11:22 AM PST
Updated: Jan 16, 2013 4:00 PM PST
By George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter
By Matt Adams, Chief Photojournalist
In the middle of the news conference about the NASA deal, Bigelow slipped in a bombshell announcement that seemingly didn't register with the gathered media. When asked about how much he's spent form his own pocket so far to build the company and its product line, Bigelow made a startling statement about his plans.
"We've spent about $250 million so far, and I expect to spend another $250 million by 2016 when we will have two of our 330's ready to fly," he said.
Bigelow plans to build the solar system's first private space station and wants to have it in place 235 miles above the earth, within four years. It is an mind-numbing undertaking for one company.
Aerospace insiders told the I-Team that Bigelow has quietly undertaken a hiring frenzy, ramping up to build something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Bigelow has said previously that he already has memos of understanding with several governments. If all goes as planned, those customers, along with corporations, will soon have a place to send their astronauts and scientists.