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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: cockroaches?
By Vanilla Thunder on 6/29/2007 12:04:18 PM , Rating: 4
DNA comparison requires context to be meaningful. Granted that a human and ape are over 98% genetically identical, a human and any earthly DNA-based life form must be at least 25% identical. A human and a daffodil share common ancestry and their DNA is thus obliged to match more than 25% of the time. For the sake of argument let's say 33%.

The point is that to say we are one-third daffodils because our DNA matches that of a daffodil 33% of the time, is not profound, it's ridiculous. There is hardly any biological comparison you can make which will find us to be one-third daffodil, except perhaps the DNA.


RE: cockroaches?
By masher2 on 6/29/2007 12:15:41 PM , Rating: 5
> "The point is that to say we are one-third daffodils because our DNA matches that of a daffodil 33% of the time, is not profound, it's ridiculous"

To you perhaps...but then you're a human. From the cosmic perspective, humans and cockroaches are almost identical. They require roughly similar conditions to survive. Water. Oxygen. Carbohydrate-based food. A similar range of temperatures-- a very narrow range by cosmic standards.

They are both multicellular organisms composed of carbon compounds...and many of the same proteins and enzymes are found in each. Similar homeostatic mechanisms. Both species contain two sexes, and breed in a nearly-identical manner. Both grow from a fertilized egg to maturity, and both have similar adaptations to stimuli.

From a perspective of biologic systems and all possible forms of life, humans and cockroaches are nearly identical. Don't be fooled by minor differences in outward form.

RE: cockroaches?
By Vanilla Thunder on 6/29/2007 12:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, but I think these are more points of common ancestry then what I would consider modern day similarities in say, required living conditions. My original point, though in retrospect incorrectly stated, is that I don't think there is anything that could be learned from a box of roaches on a spacecraft that sensors and data readout would not capture. Please share if you feel differently.


RE: cockroaches?
By masher2 on 6/29/2007 12:38:43 PM , Rating: 5
> "I don't think there is anything that could be learned from a box of roaches on a spacecraft that sensors and data readout would not capture..."

In theoretical terms, this isn't correct. You can only measure what you know about and can anticipate. What if we didn't know about ionizing radiation and sent humans for lengthy trips through the Van Allen belt without shielding? Our measuring of temperature and atmosphere would show everything was A-OK...yet people would still be dying from unknown causes.

In practical terms, though, this cockroach experiment isn't designed to tell us anything about the effects of space on humans. It's designed to tell us about its effects on cockroaches. They're being subjected to vacuum and extreme temperatures, to see how long they can live. Useful information? It will be one day, when we have to sterilize them from accidentially-contaminated space habitats.

And the results? Cockroaches can actually survive over two hours of full vacuum. Maybe they ARE a higher form of life.

RE: cockroaches?
By Vanilla Thunder on 6/29/2007 12:46:17 PM , Rating: 1
Touche'. As per usual, good insight and presentation.
You're one of the few posters on this site who usually have some validity to their statements. Keep it up.


RE: cockroaches?
By ThisSpaceForRent on 6/29/2007 1:11:08 PM , Rating: 2
They can survive two hours in a vacuum? Where did you find that at, cause I'm curious to read more about that. I would have figured that the fluids in the cockroach would have boiled because of the air pressure. If that's all true that's simply amazing, and scary at the sametime.

RE: cockroaches?
By stromgald on 6/29/2007 1:44:55 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't be surprised if cockroaches could survive for several minutes. They are extremely resilient and their exoskeleton provides more protection than our skin.

The whole idea that your blood would boil or you would freeze to death quickly in space is a myth. It would probably take several minutes before blood would start boiling, but the moisture in your eyes and tongue would have problems in 15 seconds.

RE: cockroaches?
By masher2 on 6/29/2007 3:58:41 PM , Rating: 3
> "They can survive two hours in a vacuum? Where did you find that at..."

RE: cockroaches?
By Hare on 6/29/2007 4:04:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm personally not surprised. After all, we are talking about a bug that can live for days without its head...

RE: cockroaches?
By masher2 on 6/29/2007 4:51:23 PM , Rating: 5
> "After all, we are talking about a bug that can live for days without its head..."

Are we talking about cockroaches or forum posters?

RE: cockroaches?
By Rollomite on 6/29/2007 5:01:03 PM , Rating: 5
Are we talking about cockroaches or forum posters?

I think if we were talking about forum posters it would have read "After all, we are talking about a bug that can live for days with it's head up it's ass."


RE: cockroaches?
By iNGEN on 6/30/2007 10:05:26 AM , Rating: 2

RE: cockroaches?
By Hare on 6/29/2007 4:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
Carbohydrate-based food.

Do you really need carbs? In ketosis you don't really need carbs as you are burning ketones.

RE: cockroaches?
By geddarkstorm on 6/29/2007 4:53:34 PM , Rating: 4
No, you are wrong. The base needs may seem the same as in the housekeeping and metabolic systems on the surface look the same, but they are regulated differently and response to extra and intra cellular signaling absolutely differently. Moreover, cockroaches and humans have many different metabolic pathways, such as we need more supplements (which we call vitamins) in our diet than any other creature on earth, while a cockroach can make Vitamin C and others internally. We and roaches are metabolically fundementally different--they are poikilotherms while we are endotherms, which arises from striking differences in how the cells metabolize sugars/fats, the speeds of their electron transport chains, and the very permeability of their mitochondrian membranes. When talking about survivability in harsh climates, roaches and humans are so radically different that no comparisons can be drawn. Cockroaches can survive on foods we can't. They aren't susceptible to the same diseases--likewise there are poisons for roaches that won't harm human beings (newer pest control agents can accomplish this by exploiting the unique physiology of insect cells). They also need far less oxygen, and can tolerate much larger temperature/pressure extremes. Heck, insects use many totally different transcription factors from humans, especially in development and status of the physiology after that. Afterall, we have an internalized skeletons, while they are protected by chitin--the same substance that your fingernails are made from, and thus have an entirely different growth scheme, timing, and mechanisms even in the adult forms. You are being fooled by minor similarities inwardly. That's why these roaches are on the ship for fun, because they cannot be used to scientifically test for survivability in the ships conditions for humans.

RE: cockroaches?
By Strunf on 6/29/2007 8:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
Breed in a nearly identical manner? Dude humans are mammals and cockroaches insects, one lays eggs the other doesn't, one has to feed its babies the other doesn't and so on...

PS: Don't be fooled by the "perspectives" cause they mean crap.

RE: cockroaches?
By Samus on 6/29/2007 3:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
it doesn't matter, they're seeing if the mofo's die from vacuum discharge, fry or freeze from hot or cold temperatures, and whether or not they can breath.

they would have used rats and stuff, but rats can only go two weeks without food and water. these guys can go months.

RE: cockroaches?
By spluurfg on 7/1/2007 3:21:37 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I don't see why the original poster thinks it's such a bad idea. Sending cockroaches up there is practical. If they die, then we know we can't send humans because cockroaches are so extremely hardy. If they survive, we can upgrade to a mouse, then a dog, then a chimp, etc. (The Russians skipped straight to the dog...)

Maybe the OP would have preferred they don't send the cockroaches and get no value from that possible experiment.

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