NASA, Bigelow Move Forward on Attaching Inflatable Module to ISS

Bigelow Aerospace module cutaway.

Leonard David has a bit more on Bigelow Aerospace’s proposal to attach its BEAM inflatable module to the International Space Station:

No agreement has been signed yet, said Michael Gold, director of Washington, D.C., operations and business growth for Bigelow Aerospace LLC, based in Chevy Chase, Md. “But we’re looking forward to doing so in the near future and we’re pleased about the progress.”

Gold said Bigelow Aerospace is working with the ISS National Laboratory program, as well as the space agency’s Space Operations Mission Directorate, the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and the Office of Chief Technologist. Officials in these offices “have supported and encouraged this initiative,” Gold said.

“We’re thrilled to work with NASA to ensure that Bigelow Aerospace’s unprecedented private sector investment and progress are fully leveraged to create the dynamic future in space that we are all working toward,” Gold added.

The article quotes Jason Crusan, chief technologist for space operations within the Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., as saying that the module could be in orbit within 24 months of an agreement. It would be launched aboard one of the COTS rockets, either SpaceX’s Falcon 9 or Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Taurus II.

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