Projects update

4 11 2007

Ok, little project update here.

The BDB development is currently on hold whilst AIA applies it’s engineering knowhow to payloads for the XR5-Vanguard. It is expected at this time, though not confirmed, that the Vanguard will become the launch vehicle of choice for Project Toehold. At this stage it is undecided what part, if any, the BDB will play in the Project and therfore it’s development may be scrapped – although AIA recognises it may still need a large cheap launcher for heavy unmanned payloads, so no decision is being made at this time. AIA also recognises the need to keep funding it’s operations and the BDB may have use in this regard. Updates will be posted in future.

Currently in development are 2 modules for the XR5 Vanguard:-

-A Habitat for Orbital Operations and Payload (tentatively named the HOOP):

This will be a hab and storage module that can extend the orbital operation time of the Vanguard crew, as well as providing a robotic arm for orbital payload management, an airlock, extra solar panels and radiator. Two designs are currently being worked on. The first will leave ample payload bay space for other payloads, the second will consume the most part of the bay and include extra functionality, such as greenhouse, science labs, telescope and other scientific hardware. At this time it is not clear if both will be made, whether only one will be made, or whether a hybrid of the two will go into production.

-Payload fuel tank:

Pretty self explanetory, this will add extra fuel capacity for the Vanguard for extended operation time and interplanetary/TLI operations. It will be designed as a single molded tank, contoured to the payload bay and be 20feet in length. Thus it will fit into the Vanguards payload managment system, allowing for 1-4 of them to be carried in the bay. Exact numbers regarding fuel capacity each will provide are as yet undisclosed.

Further updates and model pics will be posted during the coming weeks.

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