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The chart shows a size comparison between the current pathfinder modules Genesis I and II, the Galaxy module planned for 2008, and the future human-habitable modules Sundancer and BA 330.
Second launch takes firm closer to goal of deploying blow-up space stations

Bigelow Aerospace celebrated the launch of its second inflatable space module this week, marking a major step forward in the company's plan of building a fleet of "space habitat destinations."

The Las Vegas-based company announced on its website that it received the first pictures from the Genesis II spacecraft 90 minutes after it was launched on June 28 from the ISC Kosmotras Yasny Cosmodrome, located in the Orenburg region of Russia.

The low-resolution thumbnails, taken during the craft's solar panel deployment, provided confirmation that the Genesis II had reached its orbit and was beginning its inflation sequence.

The Genesis II is identical in size and appearance to Genesis I -- approximately 15 feet in length and about 6 feet in diameter at launch, inflating to 8 feet in diameter after reaching orbit.

The Genesis II differs from its predecessor primarily with respect to its payload. The latest spacecraft carries twice as many cameras -- 22 in all -- as well as an arsenal of additional sensors and avionics that were not included on Genesis I.

The new spacecraft is also loaded down with a variety of nonscientific paraphernalia, including boxes of cockroaches and scorpions, and other flotsam collected from paying participants in the Bigelow Aerospace “Fly your Stuff” program.

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RE: Space Whopper Hopper?
By Gul Westfale on 6/29/2007 9:34:39 AM , Rating: 2
that is kind of the point. the reasoning seems to be that a hard surface would break when hit by a fast-moving object, but a softer surface would absorb the impact. when they say inflatable they don't mean el-cheapo kids' toys, i'm sure they're quite sturdy.

also, every pound of stuff that goes to the moon/space needs a disproportionally large amount of fuel to get there- i heard somewhere it was 23pounds of fuel per pound of material. so by making this simpler and inflatable maybe they are saving weight, and thus complexity/cost.

RE: Space Whopper Hopper?
By Ringold on 6/29/2007 3:09:48 PM , Rating: 2
It's also technology that was originally thought of for use with the ISS, but later abandoned by the government. Being abandoned by NASA usually means it's a fantastic idea, and Bigelow picked up the tech on the cheap. This stuff is the future. It wasn't discussed above but he's already working on plans to assemble a station at a Lagrange point and slowly lowering it to a prepared location on the lunar surface -- insta-city.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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