Sierra Nevada to Build Berthing Mechanism for Bigelow’s ISS Module

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The BEAM module docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

The BEAM module docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

This just in via Space News:

Sierra Nevada Space Systems of Louisville, Colo., got a nearly $2 million contract from NASA to build the berthing mechanism Bigelow Aerospace of North Las Vegas, Nev., will need to attach an experimental inflatable stowage module to the international space station (ISS) in 2015.

Under the terms of the 16-month firm-fixed-price contract awarded May 28, Sierra Nevada will build a passive common berthing mechanism — a piece of hardware that allows spacecraft to be berthed with the international space station — for the Bigelow Expanded Activity Module (BEAM)….

BEAM is now scheduled to fly to ISS in the summer of 2015 on the eighth of 12 contracted cargo missions Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is flying for NASA under a $1.6 billion contract it got in 2008. BEAM will be attached to ISS by a ground-operated robotic arm, rather than by space-walking astronauts.

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