9 thoughts on “Sierra Nevada”

  1. More likely they ended up snapping up all the people Bigelow repeatedly laid off at the drop of a hat.

    The irony is he made inflatables possible but won’t be the one to profit from it.

  2. The irony is he made inflatables possible but won’t be the one to profit from it.
    Noted that this is not necessarily a novel outcome in the world of invention and inventors.

    SNC was able to promote a cargo Dream Chaser variant that NASA got behind allowing SNC to snare a CRS contract that saved the company while in a similar timeframe Bigelow Aerospace was unable to obtain a similar contract. Now that it is apparent a destination is needed as well as a means to get there, SNC has moved naturally on to the next phase, grabbing whatever technology was available to them it appears. Literally a case of the horse before the cart.

  3. The idea has been around for a long time. Goodyear even developed a complete torus inflatable back in the 1960s, and Bigelow bought the license for that tech and improved on it. But, looking at the pictures and in particular the second picture, it looks like a very different pattern compared to the BEAM attached to the ISS or even the drawings of the BA330. Also it looks like they are configuring the interior at 90 degrees to the configuration of the BA330.

  4. Goodyear developed an inflatable torus?

    Who would have thought such a thing would occur to Goodyear?

    Cue radio with squelch sounds, “scrch . . . we have located the air leak in the Space Station, it is in the valve stem . . . scrch . . . roger that, we will prepare to go ee-vee-ay for valve-stem replacement.”

  5. It’s true that the Transhab inflatable patents were licensed by NASA to Bigelow back in the early 2000’s, but as I understand it they’re all available to any American aerospace company to develop.

    So I expect that SN didn’t have to deal with Bigelow at all. They have at least a few former Bigelow people working for them now anyway, and could surely hire more if they needed to — Bigelow now being dead as a doornail.

    Which is all just as well, Bigelow was about as dysfunctional organization as you can imagine, by all accounts. Sierra Nevada on the other acually gets stuff done. They still have to square away the financing, but I don’t doubt they could actually execute on this. I hope they do.

    1. NASA must have changed direction then. Back when Bigelow got access to the patents, I was asking NASA for access to the same patents. I was denied with the powers that be saying Bigelow had an exclusive.

      1. As I understand it, some of the patents Bigelow acquired in the Spac Act agreements were exclusive, and some were not. And the exclusive ones expired last year: https://patents.google.com/patent/US6439508B1/en

        All that said, I gather there are some differences in the design of SN’s LIFE module habitat — the amount of work they have done already suggests to me that they’ve been doing some of their own development work on inflatable technology for a while.

        I am more than happy to be corrected or clarified by anyone with more direct connections who happens to wander in here.

  6. What inclination are they going for? And what are they going to do for things like nodes and solar arrays?

    Do they plan to buy some sort of arm, or are they just going to autodock everything to a node?

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