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Author Topic:   Bigelow Aerospace orbital space complexes
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2011 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA Deputy Administrator Visits Nevada Innovation Sites

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver visited Las Vegas today to meet with Nevada entrepreneurs and discuss innovations in space exploration and technology development critical to America's future in space.

Garver toured the facilities of Bigelow Aerospace, a company that has been developing expandable space habitats. NASA is evaluating Bigelow's concept for an expandable module for the International Space Station. If approved, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, could be launched to the station using a commercial cargo flight and robotically attached to the orbiting laboratory.

Bigelow also has partnered with the Boeing Company on a crew capsule as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Development Program. NASA is working with multiple commercial partners to develop industry's capability to safely deliver crews and cargo to low Earth orbit.

"It's a pleasure to see the spark of innovation so vibrant here in Nevada," Garver said. "It's going to take our best minds and our best efforts to harness the full potential of our entrepreneurs, but with it, we can out-innovate, out-educate and out-build any competitor in the world."

As NASA focuses on a renewed program of technology development to reach destinations farther in the solar system, it also will continue a vigorous program of human spaceflight aboard the International Space Station and foster a growing commercial space industry with the capability to produce jobs and economic benefits.

"Commercial space in general and commercial crew in particular are vital to ensure that America survives and thrives in an increasingly global space industry," said the founder and president of Bigelow Aerospace, Robert T. Bigelow. "Innovation has always been the key to our country's economy, and we were thrilled to host the deputy administrator to show her what our entrepreneurial company has already accomplished."

The NASA Authorization Act of 2010, passed with strong bipartisan support, calls on NASA to pursue commercial access to space and extend the life of the space station to at least 2020. Along with these goals, the act directs the agency to open multiple pathways to innovate and develop new capabilities for the exploration missions of the future.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2011 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Florida release
Space Florida and Bigelow Aerospace Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Yesterday (Feb. 2, 2011), Space Florida President Frank DiBello and Robert Bigelow, president of Bigelow Aerospace, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to work together to pursue and identify foreign and domestic companies that could benefit from utilization of Bigelow's expandable, orbital space complexes.

Bigelow currently has two pathfinder expandable systems successfully orbiting the Earth, and plans to build the first of multiple fully-functioning stations by 2015. The initial "Alpha" complex will be comprised of Bigelow's patented "Sundancer" and "BA 330" modules, which are significantly larger than current modules aboard the International Space Station. Additionally, customer launch and lease rates for the facilities are expected to be extremely cost-efficient for domestic and international customers. Bigelow is marketing eighteen (18) separate human space flight programs with a variety of duration and pricing options, including an option of $28,750,000 for a 30-day astronaut visit.

According to Bigelow, if the company attracts enough customers to lease all of the orbiting, inflatable modules on Complex Alpha, it could mean up to 25 launches a year - possibly from Cape Canaveral - to ferry cargo and crew. Module launches could be accommodated by current United Launch Alliance Atlas V rockets or other vendors.

"Space Florida continues to pursue a number of diverse strategies to propel the growth of the space industry in Florida," said Space Florida President Frank DiBello. "Bigelow has developed an orbital work environment that has substantial commercial applications. Our goal through this partnership will be not only to establish a significant Bigelow presence in Florida, but also to leverage both companies' relationships to attract new, internationally-based customers for the orbiting complex."

"Bigelow Aerospace ambitions are to launch and successfully operate as many commercial modules as possible," said Bigelow President Robert Bigelow. "None of the large BA 2100 or 3300 modules and station complexes can be transported by land or launched with a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicle for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, Bigelow Aerospace is looking for manufacturing facilities in close proximately to launch sites and launch companies capable of high volume traffic, locations like Cape Canaveral and companies like ULA."

It is intended that this innovative partnership will help build a dynamic future for on-orbit commercial space operations, enhancing overall launch activity, employment, and growth of the aerospace field in Florida. This collaborative business development partnership will also explore approaches to supporting 1/3 scale models of the orbiting outposts in Florida. These models would assist in marketing to new customers as well as simulation of customer requirements and concepts of operations for payloads, prior to flight.

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