Readers!
 

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:
 


 

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


Update on Bigelow’s ISS module

This article is a nice overview of Bigelow’s planned inflatable module for ISS, due to launch next year, and includes some good images.

I found this paragraph especially intriguing:

Earlier this year, Bigelow announced how much it’ll cost you to spend some time inside the BA 330 when it launches. Expect to pay $25 million for a sixty day lease of one-third of the station — if you can get yourself there and back. Should you need a ride, round-trip taxi service between SpaceX and your local launching pad will run you an additional $26.5 million.

That’s a total cost of just over $50 million for a sixty day stay in space.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

 
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

7 comments

  • wodun

    “Until someone manages to figure out how to get a space elevator up and running, sending stuff into space is going to remain enormously expensive”

    Uhh, why wouldn’t this fictional technology also be expensive?

    “if you can get yourself there and back. Should you need a ride, round-trip taxi service”

    Wasn’t Bigelow saying the cost of transit was included in the price?

  • Doug

    Is this an all-inclusive price? (i.e. does it include consumables – food, water, oxygen) :)

  • No, the cost of transport is not included in Bigelow’s price.

  • geoffc

    TANSTAAFL. Or Air is extra. :) But I do think it is all in.

  • wodun

    Thanks for the clarification, guess I misremembered that.

  • Edward

    Space elevators may remain fictional, as they are terribly susceptible to space debris, among other problems.

    There was a fellow giving talks, in my area, advocating the nano-tube “tether” version. Whenever I went to one of his talks, I would be sure to ask how it would avoid debris, as any space elevator would cross the orbital plane of everything in Earth orbit (including screws and paint chips, up to the altitude of the elevator’s counterweight) twice a day.

    If I still had the floor, I would also ask about countering the instability introduced by Coriolis forces (tethers already flown were somewhat unstable and “twisty” at a mere two-miles long, much less tens of thousands of miles long).

    I think that Bigelow’s space stations will fare much better, in the near future, than a space elevator, but I am curious about the logistics of station maintenance (e.g. does the leasee perform station repair, or is there an onsite Bigelow facilities manager?).

  • Pzatchok

    At that price it seems to be cheaper just to buy the habitat and service it yourself.

    Which could be their ultimate goal. Why should they operate the habitat when they could just outright sell it and go onto building the next one.

    A new company could come into play.
    Someone to build and operate a central utility module with power, water, air, food, cooling and a bunch of docking collars.
    Bigalow owners could dock their modules to it and be charged for services and utilities. If they don’t pay their module could be undocked and left to drift in some safe area.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *