Genesis I

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This article is about the space station module. For the chapter of the Bible book, see Book of Genesis.
Genesis I
Image from one of the seven exterior cameras on Genesis I.
Station statistics
COSPAR ID 2006-029A
SATCAT № 29252[1]
Crew Unmanned
Launch 12 July 2006
14:53:30 UTC (3)
Launch pad Dombarovskiy base,
Russia (3)
Reentry 2013–2019 (4)
Mission status On orbit
Mass 1,360 kg (3,000 lb) (5)
Length 4.4 m (14.4 ft) (2)
Diameter 2.54 m (8.3 ft) (2)
Pressurised volume 11.5 m3 (406.1 cu ft) (2)
Atmospheric pressure 51.7 kPa (7.5 psi) (6)
Perigee 507 km (315 mi)[1]
Apogee 570 km (350 mi)[1]
Orbital inclination 64.51 degrees[1]
Average speed 7.57 kilometres per second (27,300 km/h; 16,900 mph)[1]
Orbital period 95.28 minutes[1]
Orbits per day 15.08[1]
Orbit epoch 4 October 2014[1]
Days in orbit 3023
Number of orbits 45230[1]
References: 1[2] 2[3] 3[4] 4[5] 5[6] 6[7]

Genesis I is an experimental space habitat designed and built by the private American firm Bigelow Aerospace and launched in 2006. It was the first module to be sent into orbit by the company, and is testing various systems, materials and techniques related to determining the viability of long-term inflatable space structures. Such structures, including this module and others built by Bigelow Aerospace, are based on the NASA TransHab design, which provides increased interior volume at a reduced launch diameter and potentially reduced mass compared to traditional rigid structures.

Spacecraft history[edit]

Genesis I was launched on 12 July 2006 at 14:53:30 UTC aboard an ISC Kosmotras Dnepr rocket, launched from Dombarovskiy missile base near Yasniy, Russia. Spacecraft control was transferred to Bigelow Aerospace at 15:08 UTC after a successful orbital insertion.[4] Designed as a one-third scale model of the full size BA 330, when in orbit the main body of the craft measures 4.4 meters (14.4 ft) long 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 the expandable design, however, the module launched with a diameter of only 1.6 meters (5.2 ft), inflating to its full size after entering orbit.[8] The expansion process took approximately ten minutes.[5]

Genesis I suffered a major radiation event in December 2006 as a result of a "solar storm". Mission controllers were able to restart the system in time, though the situation was described as being "one fault away from the spacecraft being dead." Despite this, no lasting damage appears to have occurred and the spacecraft was operating in "excellent shape" as of March 2007.[9]

The spacecraft completed its 10,000th orbit on 8 May 2008, some 660 days after launch. By that time, Genesis I had traveled more than 430 million kilometers (270 million miles), the equivalent of going to the Moon and back 1,154 times, and had taken more than 14,000 images, including images of all seven continents. Its electrical equipment had been continuously powered since it first became operational.[10]

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.[11]

In February 2011, Bigelow reported that the vehicle had "performed flawlessly in terms of pressure maintenance and thermal control-environmental containment."[12]

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 July 2013, the vehicle remains in orbit.[11]

Systems[edit]

Genesis I is outfitted with eight GaAs solar panel arrays, four on each end of the craft, which produce one kilowatt total power[13] and maintain a 26 volt battery charge.[14] It carries thirteen cameras, seven externally to monitor the physical condition of the spacecraft, such as the outer shell and solar arrays, and six internally to photograph the various objects and experiments.[3] Internal systems established an atmospheric pressure of 7.5 psi (51.7 kPa)[7] and use passive thermal control to keep temperatures at an average of 26 °C (79 °F),[14] with observed limits of approximately 4.5 °C (40.1 °F) and 32 °C (90 °F).[15] Genesis I uses a single gas tank for its inflation system, and guidance/stabilization control is performed using a network of torque rods, sun sensors, GPS and a magnetometer.[16]

Payload[edit]

Aside from the various systems and monitoring equipment, Genesis I is orbiting with a wide variety of cargo. Bigelow employees contributed numerous photographs, toys, cards and other items, which can be seen in still images floating around the cabin. Bigelow also placed a life-sciences experiment on board, which contains four Madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa) and approximately 20 so-called Mexican jumping beans, which are seeds containing the live larva of the moth Cydia deshaisiana.[17][18] In addition, the company allowed NASA to include a prototype for the GeneSat series of nanosatellites. This device, called GeneBox, tested the systems and procedures that will be used on future GeneSat missions. While GeneBox carries no living organisms, future flights will use sensors and optics to measure how weightlessness affects genes and the genetic activity of cells and microscopic life.[19][20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "GENESIS 1 Satellite details 2006-029A NORAD 29252". N2YO. 4 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Peat, Chris (27 December 2013). "GENESIS 1 - Orbit". Heavens-Above. Retrieved December 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Genesis I Specs". BigelowAerospace.com. Retrieved February 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Russia inaugurates new space launch site". RussianSpaceWeb.com. July 17, 2006. Retrieved June 30, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b David, Leonard (July 21, 2006). "Bigelow Aerospace's Genesis-1 Performing Well". Space.com. Retrieved June 30, 2007. 
  6. ^ Boyle, Alan (April 17, 2007). "Private space station test delayed till May". MSNBC.com. Archived from the original on May 19, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b David, Leonard (July 13, 2006). "Bigelow's Genesis-1 Performing Well". LiveScience.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Genesis II Calls Home, Says It's Doing Fine". BigelowAerospace.com. June 28, 2007. Archived from the original on February 6, 2008. 
  9. ^ David, Leonard (March 26, 2007). "Bigelow Aerospace Sets a Business Trajectory". Space.com. Retrieved August 6, 2007. 
  10. ^ Malik, Tariq (May 9, 2008). "Private Space Station Prototype Hits Orbital Milestone". Space.com. Retrieved May 9, 2008. 
  11. ^ a b Bigelow, Robert (interviewee) (December 1, 2011). Moonandback Interview With Robert Bigelow, Part 4 – Highlights and Plans (Podcast). Moonandback.com. Event occurs at 2:53. Retrieved December 19, 2011. 
  12. ^ Knapp, George (February 4, 2011). "I-Team: Bigelow Aerospace Begins Big Expansion". 8NewsNow.com. Retrieved February 5, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Genesis-I & II". SpaceQuest.com. Retrieved June 30, 2007. 
  14. ^ a b David, Leonard (July 12, 2006). "Bigelow Module: Orbital Updates". LiveScience.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. 
  15. ^ Ingham, Jay (February 13, 2007). "Genesis I: Performance". BigelowAerospace.com. Archived from the original on December 15, 2007. 
  16. ^ Haakonstad, Eric (March 5, 2007). "Genesis II Different From Genesis I". BigelowAerospace.com. Archived from the original on May 8, 2007. 
  17. ^ Ledford, Heidi (August 8, 2006). "Space hotel gets a check-up". Nature. doi:10.1038/news060807-7. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ Malik, Tariq; David, Leonard (June 28, 2007). "Bigelow's Second Orbital Module Launches Into Space". Space.com. Retrieved June 30, 2007. 
  19. ^ "Bigelow Spacecraft Carries NASA 'Genebox' For Tests In Orbit" (Press release). NASA Ames Research Center. July 17, 2006. Retrieved June 30, 2007. 
  20. ^ Cowing, Keith (July 30, 2006). "A Closer Look at NASA's GeneBox Payload". SpaceRef.com. Retrieved June 30, 2007. 

External links[edit]