Military Review

The inflatable module has been successfully working on the ISS for a year and a half.

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The inflatable module has been successfully working on the ISS for a year and a half.

Photo 1. Inflatable module on the ISS


28 May 2016 astronauts MKS were able to successfully deploy an inflatable module BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) of the company Bigelow Aerospace. Before that, however, there were problems - the module did not want to inflate. But the reasons were not too critical (summed up by automation, which did not recognize the cutting of the tapes that kept the module case in the folded state), and the problem was solved.


Photo 2. Spread inflatable module

Today we can say that after a year and a half after its delivery to the ISS, the BEAM continues to operate normally, its condition is quite satisfactory, the study showed that modules of this type can be on the ISS for a long time. NASA decided to continue cooperation with Bigelow Aerospace, as it remained satisfied with the state of the module deployed over a year ago. However, now the agency representatives clarified that the inflatable modules will be used only as a warehouse for equipment, residential sectors of the BEAM is not planned to create. The module, which is now in orbit, remains to work for about a year. After a year it will be collected and dumped into the atmosphere of the Earth, where it will burn. Probably two years - the planned life of such modules. It is worth noting that NASA has standard cargo containers called Cargo Transfer Bags (about half a cubic meter). The module can fit around 100 of such objects, which will free up the usable space of other modules in which the load is currently located. Advantages of such systems are called a small volume in the folded state, which facilitates the task of putting a module into orbit. The BEAM mass is 1360 kg with a diameter of 3,2 m and a volume of 16 m3, while the mass of the aluminum Unity module, which is used on the ISS now, is 11793 kg (module volume in the source is not specified. - Note). times more.

Inflatable modules are not inferior to the usual in resistance to damage by debris. Just because there is nothing to concede. The thickness of the standard aluminum modules of the ISS in some places can fall to a couple of millimeters, beyond which the outer layer of the station's energy infrastructure and vacuum. The creators are confident that the walls of the module will withstand the ingress of a micrometricite even better than aluminum structures. If the meteorite breaks through the textile shell, then it will not burst instantly, but will slowly “poison” the air and give time to take action. The walls of BEAM are a bunch of interlayers, inside the inflatable shell of a module-sealed partition, plus inside the gas. A microspray with a diameter of no more than a millimeter will simply evaporate in the gas interlayer inside the outer shell of the module due to aerodynamic drag. Larger fragments, up to a couple of centimeters, will break through both conventional modules and inflatable ones. "Cobblestones" from 7-10 centimeters in diameter and other objects are tracked almost completely by the control service of near-Earth space in the United States and its Russian counterpart (it is doubtful, but in the source. - Note. Aut.). Inflatable modules can pressurize the “hole” at the point of impact, until they restore integrity there. Fixing an inflatable design with a pair of patches is much easier than patching a gap in a standard aluminum module.

In addition to saving space at start-up, among the advantages of such a design, the best sound-absorbing characteristics of textiles are noted compared to traditional aluminum cladding. And the problem of noise on the ISS is very acute: because of the noise, many astronauts do not get enough sleep.

The developer of inflatable modules, the company Bigelow Aerospace (USA) was founded in 1999, by Robert Bigelow, the owner of the hotel chain Budget Suites of America. At the moment, the company is developing inflatable modules for continuous operation as part of an orbital station.

BEAM is only a working model of larger inflatable modules developed by Bigelow Aerospace. Earlier, company representatives said that full-scale B330 modules (a total of two such objects are planned to be manufactured) will be ready for 2020. The volume of each is 330 cubic meters, so they were called so - B330. In the future (in the second half of 2020-ies) Bigelow Aerospace it is planned to build, launch and operate its own orbital station, consisting only of its inflatable modules, including especially large ones (B2100), only trusses and an outer framework will remain metal equipment.

Source: https://aboutspacejornal.net/2017/10/06/ on us- extends the contract-with-development /.

A story about inflatable modules would be incomplete without mentioning inflatable modules on Earth.





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  1. andrewkor
    andrewkor 17 January 2018 06: 03 New
    0
    If the automation failed during the deployment of the tape, they probably cut it with a sling cutter? The system is original for Cosmos, and it has been used for a long time in Lunaparks.
  2. thinker
    thinker 17 January 2018 06: 21 New
    +1
    Something this BEAM reminded me of a folding cup yes
    1. mac789
      mac789 17 January 2018 23: 47 New
      +3
      Well, actually, the future is for inflatable modules. Only creatively recycled. In fact, the Americans have now taken only the first step. And if you modify the technology, you will get an excellent ship for interplanetary flights.
      1. Vkd dvk
        Vkd dvk 19 January 2018 00: 56 New
        +2
        Quote: mac789
        Well, actually, the future is for inflatable modules. Only creatively recycled. In fact, the Americans have now taken only the first step. And if you modify the technology, you will get an excellent ship for interplanetary flights.

        The future for which application? This is not suitable for flights. Leaving the Earth’s orbit, which has a powerful magnetic field, the ship will be blown by all the radiations, especially dangerous ones, of the Center of the Galaxy. The most severe x-rays and gamma rays. If we add to this shell a steel capsule, where a person will be hidden (the thickness of the capsule walls is about 100 mm), then, perhaps, a person will survive for about a year in interplanetary space without noticeable consequences.
        https://aftershock.news/?q=node/465561&full
        And all the more inaccessible interstellar flights.
        1. mac789
          mac789 19 January 2018 11: 32 New
          +1
          As I already wrote, the Americans took only the first step ... Which still needs to be creatively processed. It's too early to talk about interstellar flights on such devices, but about interplanetary flights it is possible and necessary. There are quite a few screening methods, and engines, and an inexpensive fuel supply, and new layout schemes, and if Musk ceases to blunt, then in ten years he will be on Mars.
          1. Vkd dvk
            Vkd dvk 19 January 2018 15: 41 New
            +3
            Quote: mac789
            As I already wrote, the Americans took only the first step ... Which still needs to be creatively processed. It's too early to talk about interstellar flights on such devices, but about interplanetary flights it is possible and necessary. There are quite a few screening methods, and engines, and an inexpensive fuel supply, and new layout schemes, and if Musk ceases to blunt, then in ten years he will be on Mars.

            Musk is engaged in public relations campaigns and gouging money from the budget.
            A small example in front of you is his spacesuit for flying on his Dragons.

            Compare with professional designs already flying in space. This is actually not an advertisement for a spacesuit, but an advertisement for the safety of flights in its cans. If you had an interest, you yourself would have found the statements of his Martian flight manager that good protection against cosmic radiation is a mountain of food bags under which people will bury themselves in the event of such a "wind" of radiation. Take a look at the methods of steaming it. He raises bets all the time. His rocket with people has not started yet, as he begins to talk about heavy. Having never launched a heavy one, he begins to talk about super-heavy. Without even designing a prototype, he talks about flying to Mars. Not once having flown there, he speaks of cities on Mars.
            This is how a card sharpie behaves.
            Do not you understand?
            1. mac789
              mac789 19 January 2018 22: 23 New
              0
              Well, the reusable rocket he flies. The spacesuit is of course complete crap. I say - if you stop dull ...
              1. Vkd dvk
                Vkd dvk 19 January 2018 22: 53 New
                +2
                Quote: mac789
                Well, the reusable rocket he flies. The spacesuit is of course complete crap. I say - if you stop dull ...

                I would say, not flying yet. The fourth flight with an interval of almost a year. Landing, even if there will be hundreds, is not a profit, it is a cost. A very expensive way to collect scrap metal. They have not yet promised the promised, and, apparently, Musk is slowly forgetting about it, making new plans and new stunning promises. 24 hours for the inter-flight period and a hundred repetitions. Nobody pulled his tongue.
              2. Vkd dvk
                Vkd dvk 19 January 2018 23: 05 New
                +3
                Quote: mac789
                Well, the reusable rocket he flies. The spacesuit is of course complete crap. I say - if you stop dull ...

                http://inosmi.ru/world/20130306/206687980.html
                Another option to protect against radiation in flight to Mars.
                You say, not a sharpie. You are mistaken.
              3. Vkd dvk
                Vkd dvk 19 January 2018 23: 20 New
                +1
                Quote: mac789
                Well, the reusable rocket he flies. The spacesuit is of course complete crap. I say - if you stop dull ...

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUsu7IjYbwQ
                1. mac789
                  mac789 20 January 2018 07: 26 New
                  0
                  Honestly, it's lazy to click on the phone clogging your links in a search engine (fingers immediately cover three letters with one click). As I already wrote, “if it stops dull” there are relatively simple and economical methods of shielding the ship from radiation, which will also be facilitated by the new layout of the ship. And the main role in this will be played by inflatable modules.
                  1. Vkd dvk
                    Vkd dvk 20 January 2018 12: 22 New
                    +1
                    Quote: mac789
                    Honestly, it's lazy to click on the phone clogging your links in a search engine (fingers immediately cover three letters with one click). As I already wrote, “if it stops dull” there are relatively simple and economical methods of shielding the ship from radiation, which will also be facilitated by the new layout of the ship. And the main role in this will be played by inflatable modules.

                    It is unfortunate that you are so lazy. Could have some fun. And read the opus, which very reliably refutes your idea of ​​flying in inflatable modules. Dated 2003 year.
                    1. mac789
                      mac789 21 January 2018 03: 30 New
                      0
                      I wrote on creatively redesigned inflatable modules. As a result, we get instead of dog kennels in orbit, quite comfortable devices
  3. Cube123
    Cube123 17 January 2018 06: 46 New
    +5
    "Repairing an inflatable structure with a pair of patches is much easier than fixing a gap in a standard aluminum module."
    Very controversial statement. The problem with "patching a gap in a standard aluminum module" is only that it is difficult to get to a punched surface. Along the walls are racks with equipment. If the surface is open, then a small piece of adhesive tape that sticks from the inside at the point of breakdown solves the problem. For microwells, of course.
    1. Blackmokona
      Blackmokona 17 January 2018 07: 44 New
      0
      Scotch tape to keep one atmosphere funny
      1. Cube123
        Cube123 17 January 2018 08: 03 New
        +8
        If the diameter of the hole is a fraction of a millimeter - easy. In addition, pressure is applied from the side of the tape, so no separation force arises. Only tensile strength, and the strength of this is much more than one atm. Even a piece of plain rubber without glue will protect. Just part of the "drawn" into the hole and forms a cork.
      2. Vkd dvk
        Vkd dvk 19 January 2018 15: 53 New
        +2
        Quote: BlackMokona
        Scotch tape to keep one atmosphere funny

        Totally calm. Count the area of ​​the hole and multiply by 1kg / cm square.
    2. Mih1974
      Mih1974 17 January 2018 08: 09 New
      +8
      I support, as far as I remember, there is now used a kind of "putty" or "glue" which is designed for - a hard surface! And what will happen if you try to “press” it onto a soft surface? The idea with inflatable modules is very interesting, but only just like the “atmosphere retention shell”, but the station is not so much a shell, but quite a variety of equipment.
      Also, "good soundproofing" is wild nonsense, there aren’t any who dare to spend the night in a module connected to the station only with a "rag gut". No. Actually the movie "Martian" perfectly showed what normal people are so afraid of. negative
      Okay, let’s take it seriously - MIR, ISS is already an outdated technology, it’s high time to move on to developing a “rotating” station with “artificial gravity” from centrifugal force. And do not blame me for amateurism. Yes, I am an amateur, but even I can see how the space program of Mankind has sunk after the collapse of the USSR.
      In general, instead of the explosive development of the Cosmos, we observe degradation or "stomping on the spot." The Americans dragged away their so-praised shuttles, but they studied our technologies for building and equipping orbital stations, the advertised “space tourism for 10.000” was somehow quiet request , the Chinese - they copied the American "Saturn", then our "union", launched a station like our "salute" and now they’ll drown her. We are just as sad - the "hangar" seemed to take off and everything calmed down, we also have problems with the ISS, we even reduced the crew, we drop both rockets and satellites. At the same time, the top countries of the World are inflating military budgets to breathtaking heights. Even the great idea of ​​combining the programs of us, Americans and Europeans, and that - proa to the fullest. The world, in fact, “messed up” the cosmos, but we are used to sending something there, someone flies there, but we don’t give a damn about it, we began to treat space as a “water supply system” - it is obliged to do us “good” only when it "fails" we pay close attention and money to it. negative
      1. Cube123
        Cube123 17 January 2018 08: 23 New
        +5
        Quote: Mih1974
        Okay, let’s take it seriously - MIR, ISS is already an outdated technology, it’s high time to move on to developing a “rotating” station with “artificial gravity” from centrifugal force. And do not blame me for amateurism.

        The task from the school textbook to help you.
        http://www.cyberforum.ru/mechanics/thread1200214.
        html
        To create artificial gravity, you must either spin a small station with a frequency of hundreds of rpm, or rotate slowly, but the diameter of the wheel should be hundreds of meters.
        1. Mih1974
          Mih1974 17 January 2018 08: 35 New
          +2
          Well, firstly - I’m not talking to the earth level, and secondly, the ISS is already 100 by 50 meters and its construction has not been completed. Now let’s think in our minds - instead of these 100 meters in length, we put a 100 through channel, and "at the ends" we begin to "hang" the sausages of the modules. For example, “clockwise” we put “hard” residential modules, and counterclockwise “soft” inflatable modules. I think the unwinding of this "fool" is quite possible for earthlings, but half the circumference can be made of inflatable "sausages", for example, with reserves of gas cylinders, water, etc.

          Yes, the key here is precisely loot, which means the desire of the rulers of the countries to spend money on space exploration.
          And by the way, it is better to “inflate” the modules inside the “rigid frame”, which, even in case of damage, will not lead to tearing to pieces. good
          1. Cube123
            Cube123 17 January 2018 08: 46 New
            +4
            All this is possible, of course. Only the probability of getting a breakdown of the casing in such a design increases many times due to the increase in its area. And there are a lot of micrometeorites flying at speeds in km / s in near space. From large space debris, the station is now protected by shifting the orbit by several meters. How many meters will your construction have to be shifted? And a shift of one meter requires fuel, which is so small at the station. In general, in my opinion, the time of such stations has not yet come.
            I'm not saying that for the astronauts in the central module, there is no benefit from such "gravity".
            1. Mih1974
              Mih1974 17 January 2018 11: 32 New
              +3
              In general, the likelihood of damage will increase slightly. Do you really think that the intersection path is calculated to the nearest meter? Of course - NO, I don’t know how critical the minimum distance is, but I’m almost 100% sure that the conversation is about kilometers. Actually, even now, the ISS, with its 100 m length and the “wings” of the solar panels spread out, already occupies a volume of approximately 100 meter “torus”. good Yes, and the small amount of fuel and everything else is just a consequence of the financing of space according to the residual principle. Now humanity is again leaps and bounds "running" to a world war. Therefore, instead of the hell of how many flights into space or a large orbital station, for example, the United States, for 3 mrd fractions, the “Zumvolt” undership negative
              Instead of coordination and joint construction, a large station, and possibly even a rotating or joint station on the moon, there were raids that we would leave (fly away) with the ISS in 2019, the Americans either threw it either, or gathered on Mars, or they scared us that they will leave the ISS, the Chinese in general - themselves are brewing themselves. negative
              1. Cube123
                Cube123 17 January 2018 12: 59 New
                +1
                "How NASA operates the ISS to avoid space debris collisions"
                https://geektimes.ru/post/188286/
          2. vlad007
            17 January 2018 14: 59 New
            0
            Quote: Mih1974
            and so the ISS is already 100 at 50 meters and its construction is not completed.

            The ISS is subjected to very serious criticism from MANY project participants. - allegedly this is the most expensive project in the entire history of astronautics, supposedly about 150 billion dollars has been invested. The criticism is that if this money were invested in automatic stations, the effect would be, according to the authors, much more. For example, the Hubble telescope cost about 10 billion dollars, if I'm not mistaken, but, ostensibly, the results from its operation are many times more! There are other examples, including those related to experiments conducted with plants, etc. There are a lot of materials in the NETWORK, I do not want to write long. Therefore, the ISS will last until 2024, and then everything.
            1. Mih1974
              Mih1974 18 January 2018 01: 33 New
              +3
              That’s what I’m talking about - dodges from finances like Kudrin or Siluanov are always dissatisfied with spending money on something specific why they can’t get a percentage in their pocket from the “scroll on accounts”. negative
              Well, let's suppose - the orbital station is Evil and we abandon it, what next - continue to sit "on the ball" and wait "at the merry face"? Yes, more robots can be launched, and more information about how, how, what, what, in what sequence. Well, then what - to the moon, Mars, etc. we’ll send robots, then robots to fix robots, then factories for assembling new robots, so you can play it out so that THEY will fly “give away gifts” to US belay No. Something Soviet machine guns on the moon no one thinks to put next to the man whose Americans allegedly drove to the moon !! It doesn’t matter to everyone that the USSR landed an automatic machine on Venus, and the Americans on Mars, ALL do not give a damn !! The whole world will remember and appreciate (pay and at least recognize some rights) when there will be a Man good
              But without tests at orbital stations, we would still be complete idiots, and even have the technical ability to send people to Mars - most likely, we would be dreadful in flight. I’m already silent about the effect of “self-rotation of rotating objects” in zero gravity, which our astronauts accidentally saw and probably saved it from the catastrophe when building large ships good And medicine - space showed very important points without taking into account which, in case of a long flight, the crew would really have died.
              And how many of space technologies have migrated to us by you - yes, for the mere use of "space" loading suits (for muscle training), which are now used to treat and, in fact, save children with cerebral palsy, ALL expenses for orbital flights can be justified good . And how much was invented in terms of sublimation of products for long flights and in general how much was understood about nutrition? I remember when the Americans were left without us on the ISS - they ate foolishly at first all the sweets (no one forbids first to crack all canned meat), and then like fools choked on "empty" cereals tongue laughing . These chocks on their shuttles did not know how to eat at all, almost flew with sandwiches
        2. Akuzenka
          Akuzenka 17 January 2018 09: 59 New
          0
          10 m, enough.
          1. Cube123
            Cube123 17 January 2018 11: 07 New
            +2
            Quote: AKuzenka
            10 m, enough.

            Alexander, for what is enough?
            To simulate Earth's gravity and a reasonable speed of rotation, one revolution per minute:
            Radius = (acceleration of gravity) / (angular velocity of rotation) squared = (9,8 * 60 * 60) / (4 * Pi * Pi) = 895 meters.
            Diameter of almost 2 km.!
      2. Vkd dvk
        Vkd dvk 19 January 2018 16: 00 New
        +1
        Quote: Mih1974
        In general, instead of the explosive development of the Cosmos, we observe degradation or "stomping on the spot."

        You are mistaken. The first steam engine revolutionized transport. The second version of the engine increased efficiency compared to the first one hundreds of times. Etc. But the last option, compared with the penultimate, received tenths of a percent and at the cost of huge costs. All. The idea has exhausted itself.
        At this stage of development, we have all come to that limit, which exceeds huge costs. The idea of ​​jet propulsion through the burning of chemical fuel has exhausted itself. A completely different idea is needed. Let's open, there will be a new qualitative breakthrough.
  4. Herculesic
    Herculesic 17 January 2018 07: 31 New
    +1
    Brevity is the sister of the tolant, but not in this case! am However, for the article to you from me +!
  5. SPACE
    SPACE 17 January 2018 08: 08 New
    +4
    Even when Korolev was a Vostok spaceship, it was equipped with an inflatable “Volga” gateway to spacewalk, the camera was inflated and was ready to receive the astronaut. Its outer diameter is 1,2 meters, the inside is only 1 meters, and the length is 2,5 meters.
    1. PlotnikoffDD
      PlotnikoffDD 17 January 2018 10: 29 New
      +2
      not East, but Sunrise.
      1. Cannonball
        Cannonball 17 January 2018 21: 46 New
        +1
        What does the second. The first gateway did not have.
  6. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 17 January 2018 10: 36 New
    0
    Before that, however, there were problems - the module did not want to inflate.

    Well stupid! You need to inflate through a straw, any preschooler knows with us ...... Or maybe they already have all the frogs eaten at McDonald's and no one has seen them ?.
    1. zxc15682
      zxc15682 17 January 2018 12: 03 New
      0
      I remember in my childhood a frog was inflated .. But then there were no pipes for that there were straws. laughing
      1. Mavrikiy
        Mavrikiy 17 January 2018 16: 15 New
        +1
        Quote: zxc15682
        I remember in my childhood a frog was inflated .. But then there were no pipes for that there were straws. laughing

        I don’t put a plus, because you tormented animals. UNCODE!
  7. Lexus
    Lexus 17 January 2018 16: 22 New
    +4
    I remember that on the RT-23UTTH Molodets the head fairing was inflatable. An interesting design was also developed for the R-39UTTH "Bark".
    1. demiurg
      demiurg 17 January 2018 16: 35 New
      0
      Looks like a false target.
      1. Lexus
        Lexus 17 January 2018 19: 00 New
        +2
        It is a fairing.


        And here is a link to a detailed article
        http://militaryrussia.ru/blog/archive/military.to
        msk.ru/blog/topic/210/topic/224/topic/224/topic-4
        41.html
  8. Klaus
    Klaus 17 January 2018 18: 32 New
    0
    Large pressurized volumes are probably good. Only the question arises: how and why to fill these volumes? So far, the role of such modules is implied only in the form of storage facilities, with the possibility of temporary stay. Taking into account the service life of such modules (2-3 years), this solution is not seen as the most rational.
    In general, in my opinion, as an international space laboratory, the ISS is getting obsolete ... Of course, beautiful photos of the Earth, selfies and vlogs from orbit are cool. But for example, an experiment conceived back in the World to deploy an orbital mirror from a reflective film was never completed. And the Americans also wanted ... but things are still there. But for practical purposes on earth, this project would be very useful.
    1. Mih1974
      Mih1974 18 January 2018 01: 50 New
      +1
      Write stupidity negative . As for you, all theoretical scientists are parasites, and there are also musicians and poets "to cut down the forest or to dig trenches" am Orbital stations - revealed a lot of problems of a person’s stay in space and their solutions even on earth came in handy.
      But these inflatable "rooms" just under the warehouses are needed, because the station is very quickly "cluttered up". Actually, in the first films, the Americans also boasted - the Russians are filled with trash like an old barn, but we will have a spacious and clean station. "FIGS. it’s necessary to keep it, and spacesuits. In general, they would not refuse a couple of such warehouses and dump all kinds of “consumables” there.
      And you don’t see the benefit - because in the first place you are far from this topic (how to read everything) and because lately the cosmos has been withdrawn from the attention of the Earth’s population. We are constantly poured into our ears about "horror", "boobs", Wars and "who fucked him." negative There is a systematic saponification of the population.
      1. Klaus
        Klaus 18 January 2018 02: 02 New
        0
        AND? Problems really revealed, even during the existence of the World. What's next? The station already has a long service life, and our Science is still on Earth, "state" tourists fly to the station, and the Americans concentrated entirely on the Moon, Mars and they only need the station to break in a manned spacecraft.
      2. Felix99
        Felix99 18 January 2018 13: 28 New
        0
        I agree! Launched one Union, and in it an inflatable structure, the size of the ISS. There is something to start from with the stars
  9. Sands Careers General
    Sands Careers General 18 January 2018 02: 08 New
    +3
    It struck - sealed with tape and swam on, problems then)))
    Inflatable modules are not new, I think they will be very useful in the near future.
  10. Felix99
    Felix99 18 January 2018 13: 24 New
    0
    Thank! Very interesting and promising!
    1. Klaus
      Klaus 18 January 2018 18: 25 New
      0
      Inflatable modules - they are like inflatable women ... cheap and cheerful! Only in terms of prospects, somehow dubious
  11. RUSS
    RUSS 19 January 2018 11: 30 New
    0
    Leonov through an inflatable lock went into outer space, and it was back in 1965