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Bigelow Genesis I Inflatable First Look

Bigelow Aerospace has posted a first look photo of the successful deployment of its Genesis-1 inflatable spacecraft module.


(Bigelow Genesis-1 low-res photo)

This low resolution image shows that the inflation of the module was successful, and that the solar array deployment was completed. The pressure aboard the spacecraft has remained constant at 7.5 pounds per square inch, demonstrating the integrity of the inflatable module is good.

“We have had multiple contacts with the ship, and received several data streams,” explained Robert Bigelow, head of the space firm based in Las Vegas, Nevada. “While most of these current communication streams are dedicated to command and control of the spacecraft, we have downloaded several small images from the onboard cameras and hope to get more as more bandwidth in the data stream becomes available.”

The craft was launched using a Russian Dnepr rocket from the ISC Kosmotras space and missile complex in the Orenburg region of Russia.


(Bigelow Genesis I artist's conception)

As science-fiction fans know, In his 1967 novella Flatlander, science fiction author Larry Niven makes use of Inflatable Expansion Bubble, an inflatable chamber that provides temporary space for cramped space travelers:

The bubble had inflatable seats and an inflatable table and was there for exercise and killing time but it also provided a fine view; the surface was perfectly transparent.

Find out more about Genesis I in an earlier story (Genesis Pathfinder). Read more at Bigelow Aerospace.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/14/2006)

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