Bigelow Aerospace has for years been trying to get the world to take its inflatable space habitats seriously, and while some have regarded the Vegas-based firm's grand visions for such things as an inflatable orbiting space hotels and manned moon bases with skepticism, NASA has always been willing to listen to Bigelow's big ideas. And now, the space agency is investing in them. NASA has awarded the private space contractor a $17.8 million contract to develop a new inflatable addition to the International Space Station.
We first heard about this potential partnership almost exactly a year ago, but at that point an actual deal between NASA and Bigelow was anything but certain. Bigelow had previously launched two concept space habitats into orbit (unmanned, of course) demonstrating, at the very least, that they work in prototype. But that's a far cry from gaining a foothold aboard one of the world's most expensive science experiments.
For now, it appears the deal is going forward, though neither NASA nor Bigelow has released the details of the agreement (the two are holding a presser on Wednesday). Will the module actually be used as additional laboratory or living space for the astronauts aboard the ISS, or is it itself an experiment to see how inflatable space habitat technology might be deployed in future missions (or both)? More details on this when they become available.
Never mind that pesky thing called radiation.....
Not a smart robot... not smart at all.
ISS orbilts 230 miles up in the area of the Van Allen Belts.
Balloons do not shield against radiation for sensitive electronics or humans.
Well, apparently you can operate a computer, in which case, you need to put your computer to use and actually research the Bigelow technology... Oh, and calling a Bigelow habitat "a balloon" really isn't an accurate description of what it is.
Having doubts is not a bad thing. A lot of waste happens daily in the world.
Nothing is hindering you from providing links to your point.
I'm at work, and don't feel the need, nor do I have the time, to do basic research for you... but FYI; Bigelow has two placed two of these habitats in orbit at their own expense. The two habitats have been in orbit since around 2008... No radiation problems.
No radiation problems for the balloon or humans in the balloon?
And your comments and mine are for other readers too. If you make good points, I and other readers benefit, so don't suddenly act high and mighty to be so shy.
I still see no link in support of your vague replies.
Yes this balloon "might" create a pressurize space to work in space, but my question is it safe for sensitive electronics and humans to stay in for a length of time and for how long?
I see no reason to research your vague criticisms. And in fact, in scientific inquiry, it's the one making a charge who must substantiate the charge. You charge these are merely balloons that couldn't protect people inside, even though 2 of these "balloons" have been in orbit and operational for over 4 years.
Oh, and I see NO LINKS to support your notions about safety... So, you're going to receive what you give... NOTHING.
NASA originally came up with inflatable habitats but abandoned the idea and Bigelow bought the patents and began improving the idea. They have had 2 in orbit for several years now and they are still going strong. According to the company website they are very good at shielding radiation and they inflatable habitats also are much better at taking an impact from space debris. The radiation is shielded by a skin on the habitat I believe.
There's only one way to deal with people like Kehvan:
U mad bro?
Huh. An aerospace company with unmanned prototypes in orbit already thought about radiation before someone who posts the first comment on nearly every PopSci article brought it up. Who would've thought?
@Kehvan nice work showing that stupid user a thing or two. I am among many users who think he is a freaking moron.
@robot "Balloons do not shield against radiation for sensitive electronics or humans"...I love such a dumb statement from a truly dumb kid. I guess they couldn't make inflatable material out of different materials eh? Nice wiki link too. I enjoyed reading you bitch about how you wanted Kehvan to post links when your only link was wiki...only a child in high school would do that so clearly you are either a child or just stupid (I tend to think both).
I also enjoyed your statment "Having doubts is not a bad thing" You are right, but having moronic doubts is a bad thing which clearly you have had. Keep up the good work proving how stupid you are ;)
OH one last thing to Cookies...the one way to deal with people like Kehvan (smart people who clearly can think logically) is to act like a dumbass? Nice work! Glad to know Robot isn't the only child on this site who can't think worth a damn.
HA HA, I like you. I do enjoy commenting, happy..... sigh.
Maybe these balloon devices will be develop so well we can actually go to the moon, shielded from the deadly cosmic radiation. However, until then, we will just have to live with the staged broadcast NASA provide us.
Yes, just staying below the cosmic radiation close the Earth is a good place to test Bigelow's Inflatable Space Modules. It certainly should work. ;)
And to the rest of you, I will report to the Annunaki police, so there, pltzzzzzz!
It's about time.
I randomly saw an episode of Martha Stewart where she took a tour of NASA and they were testing these inflatable habitats. The show had something to do with fabric and new technologies. This had to be in the early/mid 90's because the ISS wasn't even in orbit and she hadn't been to jail yet....
Bigelow's Inflatable Space Modules decorate by Martha Stewart approved by NASA, yea, that a work, sure. ;)
I dont thin Nasa would approve a ballon that wasnt humanly safe. When doing research you should use scholorly websites only, with good credentials, anything with a .gov, .org, .net etc.
So about 10 minutes of research turns up that, in addition to the advantages of expandable volume and lighter weight, NASA is interested in inflatables SPECIFICALLY FOR their ability to protect from radiation. Though the aluminum skin of the ISS stops radiation fairly well, one problem is that in doing so it generates secondary radiation that is also dangerous. It's been estimated that for missions outside the Earth's protective magnetosphere, secondary radiation coming from a thin aluminum skin would be more dangerous than the radiation that it's stopping. Because of this, lightweight non-aluminum skins are probably essential for any long duration missions to the Moon, L2, Mars, etc.
I for one am happy to see that Bigalow is getting some business for his modules. He has put alot of money and effort into developing this concept. I am looking forward to reading the press release tomorrow.
The Van Allen belt doesn't extend to the altitudes that the ISS orbits at... as you might notice from reading the first paragraph, second sentence in the wikipedia article you provided...
I hope you enjoy your stay at the Bigelow's Inflatable Space Modules decorate by Martha Stewart, ta ta!
Awww what is the matter robot nothing logical to say in your defense? Two additional people just called you out including one that mocked the only link you provided (wiki pfft) and you don't have a single decent response. It is a shame this site is flooded with morons such as yourself. Such a waste of human intelligence...or lack thereof in this case.
Perhaps you believe everything that said to you.
Perhaps you believe these people have power or authority of you.
LoL. Take care. ;)
This technology looks interesting. I wasn't too convinced the first time I heard about it. I think there could be many hurdles to overcome though but it seems like a reasonable idea to connect a module to the ISS for further testing. Perhaps our future is not full of balloon structures but it will at least be a temporary solution until something better comes along (just like a tent).
I'd rather read Robot's comments any day over yours. Don't comment if you don't have anything to say about the article. Your comments and choice of name suggests that it is you that is the child.
Robot made an initial comment about the article and Kehvan, rather than adding his insight, decided to insult Robot several times. Your usefulness was limited to approval of Kehvan's insults. Oh and by the way, Wikipedia is an excellent resource and for example, Robot's link has many references for you to look over (got a problem with any of those?). Doing one's own research with Wikipedia is far better than swallowing the company line. "We believe our space station will offer greater radiation and ballistic protection." Sounds like part optimism and part sales pitch.
Robot and those supporting robots rediculous original comment just astonish me.... Kehvan and jrs one have been spot on...
1. If you have an question/concern or epiphany about an emerging product or concept sitting in front of your computer 20 years after the concept was originally discussed, odds are it has been discussed between the degreed engineers and physicists working on the product...
2. Like stated above...doing 5 min of upfront research would have answered most if not all of your questions
Robot and those like him just reinforce one of my favorite quotes on a daily basis
"only two things are infinite. The universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" - Einstein
IIS is in LEO (low earth orbit) and does NOT!!! come close to touching the Van Allen belts!!!
I don't know where you get your information to where you seem so certain and willing to assert so confidently such a false notion!
If ISS touched the belts, those astronauts would either all be dead, dying, sick or limited to missions lasting days or weeks.
There is nothing more annoying and harmful to society than someone who's picked up a few loose facts from random sources and now thinks they know it all.
Wrong ... and the fact that I have to point it out to you is quite telling. This site is for folks who don't do research and Kehvan should have corrected Robot rather than insult him. What part don't you get?
First off, Robots first comment was insulting in itself to those designing this (and engineers everywhere like myself) by inferring that they would not think of such a basic design parameter as radiation...
Second, if you don't like to research things that's fine....but don't expect to get friendly answers to questions or statements helping those who choose not to do a bit of digging first before asking questions or making uneducated comments
I am not surprised you would rather read the rants of a moron than someone who is among the many who are tired of his crap...I expect that from someone who clearly isn't logical in his arguments either. My choice of name isn't really that childish considering I am tired of his crap but feel free to keep thinking that if that makes you happy. As for his "initial comment" it was pure nonsense and an insult to people with a pulse and IQ. Wikipedia is not an excellent source and any educator from basic high school to high levels of learning will tell you that. "Robot's link has many references for you to look over (got a problem with any of those?)" No I have a problem with people posting wiki and not even bothering to read their own crap (as Kehvan clearly pointed out but you clearly didn't bother to acknowledge. Oh and as for swallowing the companies tag line...as I told robot doubts are expected and should be encouraged and analyzed (It is the lack of doing so that has resulted in devastating consequences such as say the challenger explosion) but doubts without any basis that are flung out wildly for attention are useless. However, keep supporting mediocre comments that lack any intellect; It is expected from someone who actually thinks wiki is a reliable source for research.
On a final note: "This site is for folks who don't do research" Actually, and I think many would agree, this sight itself doesn't even do a good job at doing research. They often put up poorly edited and poorly written reports that lack description and clarity. So you multiply that with the number of people who can't even use logic (Robot) and people who think wiki is a good source...even if they don't read what they post (Robot and Far Out) you have a nice recipe for perfect mediocrity.
To all those who are tired of people like Robot and Far Out I have always appreciated your thoughtful responses and the facts you present that aren't from a shoddy website. Cheers!