Friday, February 23, 2007

Can Bigelow Aerospace Bring Us To The Stars? Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas

Bigelow Aerospace, known for their unique approach towards orbital space stations may have concrete plans for establishing lunar colonies on a world all too familiar to the space industry.

(Cosmic Log) But by 2012, the focus could start shifting from low Earth orbit, or LEO, farther out into space. One of the key places in Bigelow's plan is a point about 200,000 miles (323,000 kilometers) out from Earth in the moon's direction, where the pulls of terrestrial and lunar gravity balance each other.

Bigelow would turn that region of space, called L1, into a construction zone. Inflatable modules would be linked up with propulsion/power systems and support structures, and then the completed base would be lowered down to the moon's surface, all in one piece.

Once the moon base has been set down, dirt would be piled on top, using a technique that Bigelow plans to start testing later this year at his Las Vegas headquarters. The moon dirt, more technically known as regolith, would serve to shield the base's occupants from the harsh radiation hitting the lunar surface.

If Bigelow can successfully launch, assemble, transport and land their inflatable colonies on the Moon by 2010, this will be a significant achievement for not only the private space sector, but humanity as a whole.

Although some will simply brush this off as another lunar attempt, many people have to realize that previously it took an entire nation (backed by billions of dollars) in order to land someone on the moon over 50 years ago.

For a company this size to accomplish a similar goal (at a fraction of the cost) is not merely incredible, but unparalleled.

Note: If Bigelow is able to do this, would this put NASA's Vision for Space Exploration out of business, along with make the International Space Station irrelevant?

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  1. would this put NASA's Vision for Space Exploration out of business, along with make the International Space Station irrelevant?

    No more than commercial air travel has put the government out of the business of shipping men and equipment around the world.

  2. How much does it weigh and how are they going to get it there?

  3. To Ted: I have no clue how much it ways, but it seems to be feasible as NASA is attempting a similar thing (which I'll try to post today about).

    It definitely won't be cheaper than a space elevator, but its a huge first step.


You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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