ISPCS Talk: Robert Bigelow Talks Commercial Human Spaceflight

A Boeing CST-100 crew module docks at a Bigelow Aerospace space station. (Credit: Boeing)

Robert Bigelow – Bigelow Aerospace

— experience as a general contractor with hotels
— small company 110-115 people on staff
— takes a general contractor approach to the space community

— stations may function under various ownerships — Delaware and Nevada — user friendly nature of the laws in those states
— subcontract out 55-60 percent of all components – rest of it done in house
— no other company on Earth knows as much about these types of expandable systems as they do
— 185000 square foot expansion for production of modules
— still in an R&D mode
— 50-60 countries with space ambitions but not much in the way of alternatives
— Chile’s entire astronaut core was sitting in one chair in his office 5-6 years ago
— Going to ISS is expensive, requires political connections
— 75-80 percent of ISS is split between Russia and United States
— Some of partners are unhappy with access….there’s opportunity there for private facilities
— Will come out with new client leasing guide…
— Bigelow finances deals over three years and six year
— Real estate model — will not place serious limits on reselling seats and subleasing
— Real estate model used for attracting investors
— Can be used to lure businesses to countries — grant access to microgravity environment
— Aggregate partners in LEO to create lunar bases and eventually on to Mars
— Would like to see Delta IV upgraded for heavier lift….could place 1150 square meter space station in one launch—this would be more volume than the International Space Station
— Looking at Florida, Wallops Island and Japan as launch sites
— As new reusable vehicles come online, we will consider using them as well
— For us, NASA’s CCDEV (Commercial Crew Development) program is very important…hopes it happens quickly and in the United States
— To support the stations, need two launches per month (24/year)