Transhab: History Of Satellite Technology

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CHAPTER 3
HISTORY OF GOSSAMER TECHNOLOGY
3.1 GOSSAMER STRUCTURES
On August 12, 1960, NASA successfully launched Echo I, the first communication satellite, into space. Echo I, a 100-ft diameter ball of aluminumized Mylar®, was the pioneer of inflatable space satellite technology. However, because of overestimated uncertainties in macro-meteoroid flux, inflatable satellite technology nearly vanished after the satellite launches of the 1960s. Instead, NASA concentrated on using aluminum truss and beam elements in its satellite design.

The US Department of Defense and NASA started investigating the design and development of inflatable structures. With the recent advancements in membrane optics, manufacturing, deployment techniques, control schemes
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Portable architecture brings no disruption to the site because inflatable buildings are manufactured entirely off-site and can usually be installed within a day. Pneumatic buildings and structures can be used in practically any environment and are ideally suited both for military and civil applications.
3.2.2 Space habitats
TransHab was a concept pursued by NASA to develop the technology for expandable habitats inflated by air in space. Specifically, TransHab was intended as a replacement for the already existing rigid International Space Station crew Habitation Module. When deflated, inflatable modules provide an 'easier to launch' compact form. When fully inflated, TransHab would expand to 8.2 meters in diameter (compare to the 4.4 meter diameter of the Columbus ISS Module).
Inflatable space habitats of NASA is shown in the figure 3.5. The name of the project is a contraction of Transit Habitat reflecting the original intention to design an interplanetary vehicle to transfer humans to Mars. Considerable controversy arose during the TransHab development effort due to delays and increased costs of the ISS program. In 1999, the National Space Society issued a policy statement recommending that NASA cease development of
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The company has launched the Genesis I and Genesis II pathfinder spacecraft, with plans for additional experimental craft culminating in their BA 330 (figure 3.6) production model and the Bigelow Commercial Space Station.

3.2.3 Inflatable Telescopes, Antennas and Decelerators for reentry vehicles

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)(figure 3.7) is a planned infrared space observatory and is the scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The JWST or Webb Telescope's main scientific goal is to observe the most distant objects in the universe beyond the reach of either ground based instruments or the Hubble. The JWST is a project of the United States space agency (NASA) with international collaboration from the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, including contributions from fifteen nations. Figure 3.7: James webb telescope (NASA)
Originally called the Next Generation Space Telescope, it was renamed in 2002 after NASA's second administrator James E. Webb (1906–1992). General information of JWST is shown in the table

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