Bigelow Aerospace and Space Florida signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today at Cape Canaveral. Robert Bigelow and Frank DiBello signed the MOU on behalf of their respective organizations. The event, attended by about 100 people, also featured Dr. George Sowers, Vice President of Business Development and Advanced Programs at United Launch Alliance.
Bigelow is planning to orbit two space stations later in the decade, a project that would use ULA’s rockets for some of the launches. The Las Vegas company wants to launch from Cape Canaveral and other locations, including Wallops Island in Virginia.
Edward Ellegood posted Tweets on the event. Below are the highlights:
Bigelow and Space Florida will collaborate on various activities. Bigelow expects to require 156-186 total launches between 2015-2023.
No facility development is planned under this MOU. Space Florida will seek suitable location for exhibits. Bigelow would open small office.
Bigelow would work with Central Florida’s simulation industry/institute to develop and test concepts. Exhibits would be 1/3 scale.
Bigelow plans two operational space stations: “Alpha” and “Bravo”.
Bigelow looking at 2011-2014 as preparatory time for designing and developing space hardware. He wants FAA AST to be the regulator.
Bigelow would have to build a third mfg facility to develop their third and largest station modules. Would need to be near launch site.
DiBello: Space Florida goal is to increase the state’s launch rate. ULA says its EELV sites are operating below capacity.