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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 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 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 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.


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