NASA Gives Bigelow Aerospace $17.8M for Expandable ISS Module
January 14, 2013 12:12 PM
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Bigelow Aerospace's expandable modules
Further details about the partnership and scheduling will be released on Wednesday, according to NASA
After much success with SpaceX, NASA has decided to bring another commercial space company onboard -- but this time, it's for an
International Space Station
NASA has awarded commercial space company Bigelow Aerospace a total of $17.8 million to create an expandable module for the ISS.
Bigelow Aerospace, which was founded in 1998, has been building expandable spacecraft with the intention of using them on missions. In 2006 and 2007, the company successfully launched its prototypes into orbit.
Now, NASA wants Bigelow Aerospace to use its expandable modules to develop a bigger space station.
Further details about the partnership and scheduling will be released on Wednesday, according to NASA.
“This partnership agreement for the use of expandable habitats represents a step forward in cutting-edge technology that can allow humans to thrive in space safely and affordably, and heralds important progress in U.S. commercial space innovation,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver.
NASA took a chance with private, California-based space company SpaceX when the government agency retired its space shuttle fleet throughout 2011. SpaceX stepped up in order to provide American astronauts a way to the ISS without hitching an expensive ride on a Russian Soyuz rocket. In 2012, SpaceX's Dragon made an
initial successful cargo trip
to the ISS in May and its
first official cargo trip
later in October.
It is rumored that SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace will make a trip together in 2015.
The ISS, which launched in 1998, will
deorbit and be sent to the ocean
around 2020 according to
deputy head of Roskosmos space agency Vitaly Davydov.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
1/14/2013 8:38:09 PM
How do they hold up to space debris?
At least as well as the alternatives. This is the stuff of body armor, not party balloons. There's nothing that can penetrate them, that would not also penetrate an aluminum hull.
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