Genesis II is the second experimental space habitat designed and built by the private American firm Bigelow Aerospace, and was launched in 2007. As the second module sent into orbit by the company, this spacecraft builds on the data and experience gleaned from its previously orbited sister-ship Genesis I to continue testing the long-term viability of expandable space structures. Like its sister-ship and other modules being designed by Bigelow Aerospace, this spacecraft is based on the NASA TransHab design, which provides increased interior volume and reduced launch diameter along with potentially reduced mass compared to traditional rigid structures.

Spacecraft history

Genesis II was launched on 28 June 2007, at 15:02 UTC. As with Genesis I, it was launched aboard an ISC Kosmotras Dnepr rocket from Dombarovskiy missile base near Yasniy, Russia. It successfully reached orbit after separation from the rocket at 15:16 UTC. Due to the mechanics of its orbit, first contact with the craft was established once it passed over SpaceQuest, Ltd.'s Fairfax, Virginia receiving station at 22:20 UTC, confirming that it was functioning nominally with power and air pressure at expected levels.[1][2][3] Externally, Genesis II is identical in size to Genesis I; as such, it is a one-third scale of the full-size BA 330 model, with on-orbit measurements of 4.4 meters (14.4 ft) in length and 2.54 meters (8.3 ft) in diameter, with an interior habitable volume of 11.5 cubic meters (406.1 cu ft). As part of its inflatable design, Genesis II launched with a diameter of 1.6 meters (5.2 ft), expanding to its full size after entering orbit.[1][3][4] Within two days of launch, attitude control systems had damped all rotation and oriented antennae toward Earth.[5]

Similar to the process endured by Bigelow for Genesis I, transporting Genesis II to Russia for launch was the end result of nearly a year of regulatory processes due to restrictions imposed by International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and other procedures, both in the United States and abroad. After leaving North Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States, the spacecraft made a stopover in Luxembourg before being flown on an Antonov An-124 to Orsk, Russia, and transported over ground to the Dombarovskiy base. Genesis II made its final move into the Assembly, Integration and Test Building on March 29, 2007.[6]

Originally slated for an 6 August 2006, launch, ISC Kosmotras delayed the launch to 30 January 2007, due to the failure of a Dnepr rocket in July 2006. The launch was delayed an additional four times (1 April, 19 April, 26 April, and 23 May) due to technical and scheduling concerns before its eventual launch on 28 June.[7]

On 12 December 2007, Bigelow Aerospace provided an update indicating that Genesis II was in good health. All cameras had been tested and more than 4,000 photographs had been taken. The craft was in a nearly circular orbit with an eccentricity of 0.028, and had only lost 5 kilometers (3 mi) from launch to that time. Attitude control systems and all eight solar arrays were operational, and no damage to the outer surface of the craft has been observed. Internal pressure was noted as holding between 69.6 and 72.4 kilopascals (10.1 and 10.5 psi), with the variation caused by Genesis II moving in and out of sunlight during its orbit.[5]

On 23 April 2009, Bigelow Aerospace announced that Genesis II had surpassed the 10,000 orbit mark, having been in space for 665 days and travelling over 270 million miles (430 million kilometers).[8]

In February 2011, Bigelow reported that the vehicle had "performed flawlessly in terms of pressure maintenance and thermal control-environmental containment."[9] Although the design life of the spacecraft avionics was only six months, the avionics systems worked flawlessly for "over two and a half years" before failure. The data received after the first six months was a re-verification of the validation test suite that was accomplished during the design life period.[10]

The orbital life is estimated to be 12 years, with a gradually decaying orbit resulting in re-entry into Earth's atmosphere and burn-up expected. As of 2015, the vehicle remains in orbit.[11]

Systems

Genesis II features a number of improvements over the first pathfinder that was launched. In addition to the standard guidance control systems used on Genesis I, it has reaction wheel assemblies and a precision measurement system, which are used to affect the spacecraft's rotation rate and angular momentum without expending fuel. It carries 22 cameras (nine more than the 13 on Genesis I) for photographing and filming cargo and ship conditions both inside and out. Some of these are on articulated platforms, and one wireless camera will be capable of additional exterior shots. Instead of the single-tank inflation system used on the first craft, Genesis II employs multiple tanks for added reliability and to allow for more finely tuned gas control. Additional layers have been added to the outer shield for increased protection and thermal management. Finally, the on-board sensor suite has been enhanced with additional sensors for pressure, temperature, attitude control, and radiation detection, which will help determine the impact of the orbital environment on the integrity of shipboard systems.[12]

Payload

On both the interior and exterior, Genesis II carries several non-critical systems for scientific, commercial and entertainment purposes.

For the science aspect, Genesis II carries an upgraded version of the original life-sciences module and is colloquially termed "Life in a Box". This module includes habitats for three organisms: the Madagascar hissing cockroach, previously carried aboard Genesis I; the South African flat rock scorpion, Hadogenes troglodytes; and a colony of seed-harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex californicus, along with the queen ant for long-term colonization possibilities. This biobox system includes automated food and water delivery systems, and fans keep fresh air available by circulating internal air with that inside the rest of the spacecraft. Sensors and cameras will monitor the health and activities of the biobox inhabitants, and images of the interior are intended for display on Bigelow's website.[13]

There are two commercial payloads included on Genesis II. The first is the "Fly Your Stuff" program, which allowed individuals and customers to send photographs and other small items into orbit for a fee. Several dozen of these objects were launched, and were later photographed and filmed by cameras in the spacecraft and posted on the Bigelow website for the customers to view.[14] By December 2007, all objects launched as part of this program had been photographed and distributed to customers.[5]

A secondary payload is the external image projection system that tested the capability for flashing images and messages on the spacecraft's hull. Two projectors and associated cameras are positioned on the tips of solar arrays, and the company has eventual plans for allowing the public to send images and video to be displayed. As of August 2007, there were no firm plans on how this would be handled due to current limits of uplink bandwidth, and was considered an experimental "fun" project.[15][16]

For entertainment, Genesis II carries a "Space Bingo" game intended to foster public interest in the program. The game will be started several months into the mission and will be free to play, though no actual gambling is involved. The game module contains a full set of Bingo balls which are randomly manipulated one at a time by a system of fans and levers, resetting after forty balls have entered play. During play, images will be broadcast to those who are playing along.[17]

See also

References


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
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External links

  • Genesis spacecraft at Bigelow Aerospace
  • Bigelow presentation at the NASA workshop on the Global Exploration Roadmap, 10 April 2014, video, 41:58–57:05, Genesis II footage at 47:15.