Bigelow Aerospace announces plan to launch its own space stations

Known as'The Artistic Astronaut, Stott even managed to paint during her 2009 space mission

Known as ‘The Artistic Astronaut’ Stott even managed to paint during her 2009 space mission

The company already has one of its prototype habitats in orbit right now: the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, which has been attached to the International Space Station since 2016. Or as Bigelow noted earlier, "The aluminum cans are antiquated".

Bigelow makes habitats created to expand. The company is now expecting that it will manage to launch this in 2021. Olympus would be almost 2½ times the habitable volume of the ISS, and would require a rocket capable of lifting 75 tons to 80 tons of payload. Bigelow has great ambitions for BSO The hotel mogul has grand ambitions to use BSO to commercialize space - and outdo NASA with a "monster" space station.

Hotel mogul Robert Bigelow hopes to launch a giant inflatable space station in 2021 with almost two-and-a-half times the pressurized volume of the International Space Station. Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev will command the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft that will launch March 21 carrying him and NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel to the space station two days later.

The company will focus on selling Bigelow's space habitats to customers, including private companies, NASA, and governments.

The stations wouldn't just be for US government use, Bigelow anticipates the new company will help other countries develop their space programs, and envisages a "huge" corporation market, Fox News reported. "They're offering very attractive terms and conditions and features that the commercial sector is gonna have a terrible time trying to compete with", Bigelow says.

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Inflatables are lighter, and take up a lot less space on the rocket, resulting in less fuel, less pollution and less cost.

"We don't look at tourism as a particularly deep market", Bigelow added. In Bigelow's view, no one really knows. However, the global economic crisis in 2008 soured that interest as those countries, he said, "went from fantasizing about ambitious space programs for human beings in LEO to worrying about whether or not they're going to default tomorrow on their national debt". "This subject has had ambiguity for many years", a Bigelow statement reads. That's what is so intriguing to this TreeHugger; these inflatables are as resistant to space debris and radiation as a conventional metal space station module. "The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway will give us a strategic presence in cislunar space", explained William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

Despite the market uncertainty, Bigelow Aerospace is proceeding with the construction of its first two B330 modules.

Bigelow previously suggested customers will be able to book "rooms" on the station for a price which could be "in seven figures" - although it might be in the "low eight figures", Bigelow admitted. The first two space hotels are set to launch in 2021.

"If we do not see a viable business case...because NASA wishes to use them, or that we have a viable business case with the corporate world, or with the national world, that would be the worst case scenario." he said. It will have a weight of around 75 to 80 metric tons on launch.

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