Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: © Mark Wade
American manned space station. Study 2010. The Sundancer inflatable space station had provisions for three crew. It was to be launched by 2010 aboard a Falcon 9, Zenit-2, or Atlas V booster.

Inflated in orbit, the module would have 180 cubic meters of volume and an attitude control and maneuvering system capable of modifying the modules orbit.

It would be placed in an initial higher-altitude low-earth-orbit system where systems could be checked out over a sustained period without having to worry about undue orbital decay. If a manned spacecraft unable to reach this orbit (Soyuz, Shenzhou, or Dragon) wished to visit the habitat, it could maneuver itself into a lower orbit. The station would be equipped with a Russian Soyuz-type docking system at one end and a NASA advanced lightweight Low Impact Docking System at the other. The Sundancer represented an intermediate design that had not existed in Bigelow's earlier development plan, which intended to go straight from unmanned subscale prototypes directly to the full-sized Nautilus manned habitat.


Habitable Volume: 180.00 m3.

Gross mass: 10,000 kg (22,000 lb).
Height: 11.00 m (36.00 ft).
Diameter: 4.00 m (13.10 ft).

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  • New Space Tourism With governmental manned space programs flagging, it seemed by the 21st Century that only civilian investors, building systems for toursim, might keep manned spaceflight alive... More...

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