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GENESIS-I & II

Mission: The primary mission of the Bigelow Aerospace Genesis Pathfinder missions is to evaluate the durability of inflatable space habitats in low Earth orbit (LEO).

Status: Genesis-I was successfully launched on a Dnepr rocket in the summer of 2005. The habitat was inflated under automatic control from onboard systems and held pressure while maintaining a pleasant room temperature inside. A host of cameras captured the inflation process as well as the unfolding of the 8 solar panel arrays from both inside and outside of the spacecraft. Genesis-I continues to return photos of itself and the Earth below, some of which are used in an oline game devised by Bigelow Aerospace called "Where in the World." The game challenges participants to identify the geographic locations photographed by Genesis-I and helps to involve the public in pursuit of commercial spaceflight. Cameras inside the spacecraft also relay images of internal experiments and payloads. One payload includes the NASA/AAMES biolgical experiment GeneBox.

SpaceQuest's Contribution: SpaceQuest is the primary avionics contractor for the Genesis missions. SpaceQuest brought its experience in small satellites to bear on Bigelow's unique challenge: an inexpensive but durable space habitat. The challenge was novel - the Gensis spacecraft proved to be an order of magnitude larger than anything SpaceQuest had previously been involved with. Yet, in less than a year, SpaceQuest was able to bring the design from paper to orbit using flight qualified COTS solutions and a new Open power+data interface standard called SIF.

The physical size of the Genesis structure and complexity of the required systems prompted SpaceQuest to make a fundamental change in the way it designed spacecraft. The move to adopt a CAN network architecture combined with our new Standard InterFace (SIF) proved fortuitous. The design choice was very flexible and made rapid integration possible on a mission with a tough deadline and ambitious goals.

The following Spacecraft products are implemented in the Genesis-I bus:

  • 2 x Battery Charge Regulator (BCR)
  • 4 x 2-Axis Digital Sun Sensors
  • Analog-to-Digital Telemetry Board (ADC-64)
  • A Custom 28V NiCad Battery
  • Integrated Flight Computer (IFC-1000)
  • RAM Board (FM-32)
  • 2 x 3-Axis Magnetometer (MAG-3)
  • 3 x Micro Torque Rods (TQR-30)
  • 6 x General Purpose Terminals (GPT-CAN)
  • 2 x Custom Vision Systems
  • 13 x Ethernet and Firewire Digital Cameras
  • 120 Triple Junction, GaAs Solar Panels (1 kW total)

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SpaceQuest, Ltd.
3554 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 103
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-273-7010