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Space Science

Bigelow Aerospace Fast-Tracks Manned Spacecraft 122

Raver32 writes "Following the successful launch and deployment of two inflatable space modules, on Monday the owner and founder of Bigelow Aerospace announced plans to move ahead with the launch of its first human habitable spacecraft, the Sundancer. The decision to fast-track Sundancer was made in part due to rising launch costs as well as the ability to test some systems on the ground, company CEO Robert Bigelow said in a press statement. 'As anyone associated with the aerospace industry is aware, global launch costs have been rising rapidly over the course of the past few years,' Bigelow is quoted as saying. 'These price hikes have been most acute in Russia due to a number of factors including inflation, previous artificially low launch costs and the falling value of the US dollar.'"
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Bigelow Aerospace Fast-Tracks Manned Spacecraft

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  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @10:32PM (#20232517) Homepage Journal
    Ok, for a start, the article said 180 cubic meters. The habitat is a cylinder, and from the pictures appears to be only slightly longer than it is wide. So, we know the radius of the cylinder must be about half the length. pi * 3 * 3 * 6.37 is about 180. So the radius is probably 3 meters. So imagine a cylinder lying on its side, two stories high, and about as long. And imagine you're in zero gravity, so you have all that space to work in once you build gantries in it.

  • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by biocute ( 936687 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @10:36PM (#20232557) Homepage
    why would I want a flight from NY to LA to take 20 minutes when it's going to cost me $30,000+?

    Most people wouldn't, or couldn't afford to. However you'll be surprised how many people can and are willing to spend $30K to fly from New York to London to pick up a $100K designer handbag at 4pm, and return just in time to attend a party at 5pm.
  • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by imemyself ( 757318 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @10:46PM (#20232613)
    Some people (granted, not many) paid $10k to fly across the Atlantic in three hours in the Concorde. NYC to LA is roughly comparable to NYC to UK distance wise. For about a sixth of the time, and only three times the price, its a better deal than the Concorde.
  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @12:12AM (#20233079) Journal
    Perhaps you should look at the "balloons" you're riding on (cars and motorcycles at least). Talk about an application where "the rubber meets the road"; it shows how you can engineer (and on a vast industrial scale) almost anything, even safety critical equipment. Also look at the skirts of military class hovercraft. In addition to taking the abuse of pounding surf and various shrubs and other land obstacles they might blow over, they have to take direct (light) enemy fire as well as the occasional land mine.
  • by Grismar ( 840501 ) on Wednesday August 15, 2007 @02:52AM (#20233687)

    The things the United States (and the world) is capable of, given the will and dedication of its people, is simply astounding. Gives me hope at the same time I despair as how it has been squandered by the present administration.

    I don't know which is more depressing: the knowledge that mankind can't do great things, or the knowledge that we can, but don't and waste our time and resources making other people's lives miserable over oil and heroin.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.