Bigelow Reveals Space Business Plan

The Bigelow Aerospace commercial inflatable manned space module venture intends by 2015 to have three large multi-module outposts in Earth orbit to serve different user communities.

The Bigelow business plan will headline the National Space Symposium to be attended by 7,000 people in Colorado Springs, Col. this week. Company CEO Robert T. Bigelow briefed Aviation Week & Space Technology on the plan in advance.

The major new inflatable space module initiatives could turn North Las Vegas into one of the larger space infrastructure development centers in the world. Bigelow facilities there are being readied for a major floorspace expansion. A component manufacturer has already moved in across the street.

Bigelow says his engineers predict that 800 paying crewmembers could fly to Bigelow outposts over the next 10 years.

As many as 12-14 commercial launch vehicles could fly cargo and crew to the initial outpost in its initial year of manned operations — as early as about 2012, he says. Bigelow is already testing in orbit its Genesis I inflatable module, and Genesis II will be launched by late spring under current planning for its Russian SS-18 Dnepr booster.

If Genesis II is launched successfully, Bigelow will have two modules aloft. The company’s spectacular Las Vegas control room with 18 large wall mounted screens and several console positions is every bit as impressive as the International Space Station control room at the NASA Johnson Space Center. The space hardware and impressive control center means that Bigelow — means business.

More info:  Aviation Week news article

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