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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 geddarkstorm on 6/29/2007 3:32:46 PM , Rating: 4
Whoa there, there is no way at all that a cockroach shares 99% DNA similarity with us. A chimpanzee, a creature that has the highest DNA similarity to us of all know living things is 98% similar. A dog is 96% similar. A cockroach, which is an invertebrate, not even of the same Phylum as us... it'd be incredible if it was in the 80's. Human and cockroach physiology are nothing alike except for the fact we are both eukaryots (and thus have the same housekeeping genes all eukaryots have, that that is it).

So, if a roach can survive on a ship, that's a good sign that it's holding its air. However, a roach could easily survive in conditions that are totally lethal to a human. So it is not really a test of if the inflatable station is completely habitable, but rather if it simply holds its air right and doesn't accumulate obviously dangerous gases. Just try to kill a roach on purpose and you'll see there's a world of difference in the vitality of roaches compared to humans.

RE: cockroaches?
By masher2 (blog) on 6/29/2007 4:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
> "There is no way at all that a cockroach shares 99% DNA similarity with us..."

You're right; its actually in around the 70% range, the same as drosophila melanogaster, and all other insects. Excuse my poetic license.

RE: cockroaches?
By Vanilla Thunder on 6/29/2007 4:11:40 PM , Rating: 4
85% of statistics are made up on the spot. =\


RE: cockroaches?
By geddarkstorm on 6/29/2007 4:40:30 PM , Rating: 4
Your poetic license was way overboard there unfortunately. As you know there are people who will read that and believe it : P.

Genetic similarities does not make physiological similarities (the difference internally between dogs and humans are great, and the genes are 96% similar as I pointed out. Grape based products and chocolate are extraordinarily poisonous to dogs while completely fine to humans), and something that's only 70% similar genetics wise might as well be from another planet. To compare survivability of cockroaches to humans is like comparing the surface conditions of the moon as being akin to that of the sun's chromosphere. That is why there were included onto the ship nonscientifically, as there is no way to compare their needs to our needs since they are absolutely different.

RE: cockroaches?
By masher2 (blog) on 6/29/2007 4:50:40 PM , Rating: 1
> "Your poetic license was way overboard there unfortunately."

Not really. It all depends on your frame of reference. Humans and roaches share 70% of all specific genes. So we are 70% similar--- compared to any creature which uses a chiral nucleic molecule to encode genetic structure.

Compared, however, to a creature from another planet, humans and roaches -- or even us and daffodils -- are 99% similar, simply by virtue of sharing even one dna-based gene in common.

> "To compare survivability of cockroaches to humans.."

I don't believe I did that at all. In fact, I specifically stated otherwise...that this experiment was designed to test cockroach survivability in space, not human.

RE: cockroaches?
By geddarkstorm on 6/29/2007 4:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
Oiy, just because we share the same mechanism for encoding data for the purpose of replication does not make us all that similar. Saying we are 99% similar even compared to some hypothetical extraterrestrial life form is bogus. 70% difference genetically is huge. Look at mammals which are very genetically similar yet vastly different in physiology. What works on a whale won't work on a human and vice versa--not just dose wise even when scaled for mass, but chemically. Even a slight change in a protein can totally change its chemical role and abilities. And that, the chemistry at the protein level, is what makes us what we are, not the DNA (which is only there to tell what proteins to make).

I'm a biologist, so I guess I take such licenses as foolishness. Don't draw too many parallels or you are kidding yourself into ignorance of the differences, and the reverse is also true.

RE: cockroaches?
By Vanilla Thunder on 6/29/2007 5:13:04 PM , Rating: 2
So my original post was correct after all?


RE: cockroaches?
By geddarkstorm on 6/29/2007 5:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yes XD, I was trying to defend you all along. Though the article also made it clear this was sort of a "joke" thing. A cockroach wouldn't even be a suitable replacement for that canary in the mine.

RE: cockroaches?
By masher2 (blog) on 6/29/2007 10:44:54 PM , Rating: 2
> "I'm a biologist, so I guess I take such licenses as foolishness"

I'm sorry, but you can't see the forest for the trees. To a human-- most men, at least-- the difference between Kate Moss and Rosie O'Donnel is huge. To a biologist, the difference between drosophila melanogaster and drosophila simulans may be equally huge.

But the fact is, from a perspective of all possible forms of life, men and bugs are almost identical....because we evolved from the same ancestors, and our body chemistries are almost identical. The mere fact that we share ONE gene with a creature makes us pretty similar...and we don't share one gene with cockroaches, we share millions.

RE: cockroaches?
By Strunf on 6/30/2007 6:34:58 AM , Rating: 2
Dude diamonds and graphite have exactly the same chemical composition yet they are very different.

hmm humans only have like 25000 genes so how can we share millions with the cockroaches, if you speak of base pairs then humans have billions so sharing a couple millions with the cockroaches it doesn't make us any similar.

Stop your crappy "perspectives", heck do you even have any idea what "all possible forms of life" means, it's already impossible to figure out how many there are on earth now let along all the possible ones.

RE: cockroaches?
By masher2 (blog) on 6/30/2007 9:47:59 AM , Rating: 3
> "if you speak of base pairs then humans have billions so sharing a couple millions with the cockroaches it doesn't make us any similar"

In terms of hard numbers, we probably share about two billion base pairs with a cockroach, out of a sum total of 3 billion.

But you're still missing the point. Life doesn't have to be DNA-encoded. It doesn't even have to be carbon-based. Seen from the perspective of a non-carbon based lifeform, any two creatures that actually use the same nucleic acid to hold their genetic information are very similar, no matter their outward appearance. If those two organisms also share a common ancestor, require roughly the same temperature range and atmospheric conditions, have the same bilateral symmetry, can eat the same food, utilize the same means of sexual reproduction, and both grow their young from fertilized eggs, then they're nearly identical-- at least seen from the perspective of our hypothetical alien exo-biologist. Why, men and cockroaches are even almost identical in size, if you compare them to life such as a virus, or say a potential gaseous-based creature many millions of times larger than us.

On the taxonomy tree of terrestrial life, humans and roaches are widely separated. But that entire tree is just a tiny segment of one millions of times larger. Fill in the "cosmic tree" entirely, and humans and roaches will be sitting on the same branch.

RE: cockroaches?
By Vanilla Thunder on 7/2/2007 11:24:41 AM , Rating: 2
But the fact is, from a perspective of all possible forms of life, men and bugs are almost identical....

Wow. Come on man. This is reaching. Seriously.


RE: cockroaches?
By geddarkstorm on 6/29/2007 5:08:13 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and yes I saw you make that statement later about this testing cockroach survival (but still nonscientifically as stated in the article as it isn't serious nor nothing that hasn't been done), but that wasn't what the thread was originally about, so I was in part referring to its premise not just replying to you. Sorry for that confusion.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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