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are we ready for a balloon space station?


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Won't the solar radiation kill people on the station?

they already found out its the leading cause for alzheimer or something like that in astronauts

doesn't that says that the shielding is not strong enough ?



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Won't the solar radiation kill people on the station?

they already found out its the leading cause for alzheimer or something like that in astronauts

doesn't that says that the shielding is not strong enough ?

Space is an inherently hostile environment.


It's also one with literally limitless boundaries, an untold sea of opportunity.  There are difficulties out there, sure, but...  well worth the efforts of trying to overcome.  I haven't read anything specifically on shielding, but I find it doubtful that they'd be developing a 'balloon based' addon for the station if it wasn't ready for use.  What's more, I'm quite certain this isn't your regular everyday balloon.


Full details won't be available until tomorrow, but the inflatable material being used is based on Bigelow Aerospace's 'vectran' skin, which is actually more puncture resistant than Nasa's alluminum tin-cans, as well as better shielded against radiation.  I'm also willing to bet it won't pop explosively in the event of a puncture, like the balloons you blow up for children.


Here is one article with a little information.  There's more out there on the net.


It's kinda pointless to panic and complain about safety when you don't have any information yet.

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rather small module for 18m




do they need air to keep it inflated or do they use other gases?

or do they lock in place after inflation


China n russia announced they will build space stations around 2020


now the privates


Bigelow and SpaceX announced in May 2012 that they would aim to launch their own independent Bigelow Commercial Space Station by 2015, with the intention of using it as a destination for space tourists.


When do we expect ISS to be decommissioned? 2020?


Are the inflatables cheaper than the ISS?

If so its a pity we didn't go the Disney ISS route lol

perhaps disney will establish a resort on the new space station



t only would be in use for a few years where as the rest of the station is nearly 15 years old

they say its a test to see how it fairs with solar radiation n small meteorites


when will they launch the Nasa module?


found the history ... I saw this modules early on as the transhab but congress cancelled it

Biglow decided to invest n develop it themselves

its going to be interesting when they do launch their own space station

spaceX going to have a lot of ferry business ... will florida be a space port?




the iss costs 150 billion ... sounds like biglow could build one for a lot less

with one billion ... 56 modules could be use to assemble it

so perhaps 10 billion would be enough to replace the ISS?

Edited by hh5
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NASA developed the inflatable concept, but when congress killed it, they sold the idea to Bigelow.


As was pointed out above. the inflatable concept is more resistant to puncture than current modules (a small fragment hitting the outer skin at thousands of miles per hour tends to vaporize and so won't hole the inner ones. In a solid wall structure, it can hole it via impact shock.). 


We'll soon see how the inflatables work; they've announced a contract for SpaceX to carry an inflatable module to ISS in 2015, where it will be installed and then inflated. My best guess is they'll use air for inflation of the modual walls; using other gasses poses a risk of leaking into station air. It's multi-walled,


My guess is that inflatables will prove much cheaper per cubic foot, but they can't be used for everything; solid moduals will still be needed for pre-installed lab equipment, life support, and other types of station support equipment. Inflatables on the other hand should make ideal crew quarters, galleys, general research rooms, storage, etc.

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In the inflatable concept, water is used as a radiation shield but its problematic. It becomes a big power drain to keep it in its liquid state.


I can see it for temporary structures but permanent installations need the hardened structure.

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