See original announcement of the successful Genesis II launch.
Las Vegas, NV 06/28/07 – Bigelow Aerospace has established contact with its second pathfinder spacecraft, Genesis II. Launched earlier Thursday from Yasny, Russia, Mission Control in North Las Vegas, Nev., made first contact at 2:20 p.m. PDT. Continue Reading...
Difference Between Genesis I and Genesis II
"Fly Your Stuff" program visible. Source: BigelowAerospace.com
Inside, sensors have been greatly improved with the addition of extra pressure, temperature, attitude control, and radiation detection sensors. With the added devices the craft will be sending back much more information in order to better characterize the low Earth orbit to prepare for an eventual manned spacecraft. The new improvements to the equipment will also help with the new habitat on board. Air and water-handling control systems, environmental sensors along with robotic manipulators are a part of the new additions aiding in preparation for the eventual accommodation of larger life systems.
The Genesis 2 also used a multi-tank inflation system as opposed to the single-tank method used on the previous Genesis. The multi-tank design increases the reliability of the inflation process and is testing methods for using multiple gas supplies that will be needed for future manned vehicles. Lastly, on the exterior, extra layers have been added to the outer shield in order to aid against micro-meteoroid damage and thermal management.
It's truly amazing that Bigelow Aerospace has encountered almost no problems during their launch and deployment of their first two spacecraft. If this is any indication of the kind of success they will have with future manned vehicles it's difficult not to get excited and even harder not to be able to imagine a big demand for jumping on board Bigelow's inflatable space hotel modules. All I can say is that the future of Bigelow Aerospace looks incredibly promising right now and that I can't wait to see what they unveil next.