2 thoughts on “Commercial Space Habitats”

  1. That there are now 2 companies within a few years of placing these facilities in Space makes it more comfortable for the government to take a flier on an LLO station from one of them by 2020. If the recent complaints about working for Bigelow are sooth, they may not have as much of a lock on being chosen as one would have assumed 12 months ago, but they still have a strong chance. Such a high -visibility crew-tended station would be a perfect place for something like SpiderFab technology to demo building very large aperture antennas (hundreds to thousands of meters diameter) for, in this case, orbiting ground penetrating radar, to find which of the GRAIL data really do indicate large lava tube caves that would be good settlement sites.

    Even with Trump’s enthusiasm for a lunar spectacular, some mission for the facility must be stated ahead of time, and the above would be in line with that. The facility, using the same tech, could go on to produce the tankage and shielding for a propellant storage facility, which could soon have the Blue Origin scheme of a New Glenn-launched surface facility delivering propellant using the reusable lander derived from their New Shepard vehicle.

    I do not yet know whether the announced Bigelow scheme, using Atlas 552 launchers, would have the delta-v for the lunar polar orbits that the BO lander scheme for Shackleton Crater, and for that matter, a full-coverage orbiting GPR lava tube search, would require.

  2. I always like the stories where asteroid miners traveled in family spaceships and periodically met on some rock for social gatherings.

    For private earth orbiting habitats, DreamChaser may get an advantage over capsules?

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