The Goal of Gateway Foundation Von Braun Station is to build a dual-use station that is economically self-sustaining.
There are corrections to this article as of Aug 27, 2019. I interviewed John Blinkow and received details on the 400 person Von Brau n station. I will follow up with several articles on Gateway. The plan is to stay in regular communication with Gateway Foundation.
John Blincow’s videos start with views of the Gateway instead of the von Braun Station. The von Braun station is a nearer-term, smaller project that will provide on-orbit research and commercial facilities as well as ample space tourism opportunities, and will test many of the techniques and operations strategies needed for the much larger, longer-term Gateway Spaceport. Assuming SpaceX is successful with its plans for recovering both stages of its Super-Heavy/ Starship vehicle, and/or Blue Origin is successful with its New Armstrong launch vehicle, construction of the von Braun Station will cost a small fraction of what the US has spent on the ISS. Please view the videos at
Tom Spilker is the Chief Architect of the Gateway Foundation and the Vice President for Engineering of Orbital Assembly Corp., the operational subsidiary of the Gateway Foundation that will build the von Braun station. My Ph.D., in electrical engineering, is from Stanford University, just down the road from you.
The Von Braun station looks like twenty-four modules 12 meters diameter by 20 meters modules. These are larger than the Bigelow 330 meters which has a length of 16.88 meters and a diameter 6.7 meters. Each Von Braun module is about 8000 cubic meters. The full Von Bruan Station is about 240,000 cubic meters. This will be about the volume of a cruise ship. The Von Braun modules are solid. They are not inflatable.
They plan a larger Gateway Spaceport with 11 million cubic meters of pressurized volume versus 931 meters for the International space station. This would be 12,000 times larger volume. It would be 488 meters in diameter. It would have 1.6 times the diameter of the largest stadium dome (300 meters in diameter) in the world which is a sports stadium in Singapore. The Gateway will ahve the volume of the about forty large cruise ships.
The space station would spin like the space station in 2001. It would generate its own gravity. It would be designed to very comfortably hold 1500 staff and guests.
They have created a technically feasible engineering design. Von Braun Station creation will also form a space construction industry with bots, pods, drones, construction arms, new space suits, and large-scale truss building machines designed for building large structures in space.
This video, and the ones that will follow, were made for NASA and other aerospace engineers to see that this is a technically feasible design, with a solid business plan, that will allow NASA and other space agencies to buy, rent, or lease space on this station very affordably.
Later, when they have acquired the low-gravity data they need, they can move on to other projects with no binding financial ties.
We ask you all the same two questions:
1. Is this a good design?
2. Is the time right to build a rotating station to acquire valuable, low-gravity, human physiology data?