SpaceX will make history in a handful of days when it becomes the first business to dock a privately produced spacecraft with the International Space Station (ISS). Even so, the ISS is not open to the public. This is where Bigelow Aerospace steps in. They have developed the BA 330 habitat, an inflatable space station that runs on solar and battery power. The notion for the space station came from a NASA project that was canceled. Bigelow Aerospace picked it up and has launched a profitable prototype to demonstrate the feasibility of the technological innovation.
With SpaceX’s prowess at launching cars into space and a promising space station technology developed by Bigelow, the chance of leasing a space station, no matter how great it sounds, could become reality.
Such amazing plan can only come from two accurate visionaries, who believe much more than outdoors the box, but outdoors the planet. Not too long ago SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, told 60 Minutes that the purpose he seeks to produce spacecraft is to conserve humanity itself. He says:
“I think it’s important that humanity become a multiplanet species. I think most people would agree that a future where we are a space faring civilization is inspiring and exciting compared with one where we are forever confined to Earth until some eventual extinction event. That’s really why I started SpaceX.”
Robert Bigelow, the founder of Bigelow Aerospace, also has some lofty ideas inspiring his ventures into space. In the 90s Bigelow started the National Institute for Discovery Science, which scientifically investigated paranormal phenomena, including UFOs. Recently Bigelow Aerospace funded investigations conducted by the Mutual UFO Network, and they currently receive UFO reports from the FAA.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell says:
“SpaceX and BA have a lot in common. Both companies were founded to help create a new era in space enterprise. Together we will provide unique opportunities to entities—whether nations or corporations—wishing to have crewed access to the space environment for extended periods.”
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Hawthorne, CA (SPX) May 14, 2012 Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Bigelow Aerospace (BA) have agreed to conduct a joint marketing effort focused on international customers. The two companies will offer rides on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, using the Falcon launch vehicle to carry passengers to Bigelow habitats orbiting the Earth.