Bigelow Hires 2 Former NASA Astronauts

Bigelow_Alpha_ Station
Space News
reports that Bigelow Aerospace has hired former NASA astronauts Kenneth Ham and George Zamka as the Nevada company ramps up hiring:

Zamka comes to Bigelow Aerospace from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, where he was deputy associate administrator from March 2013, when he left NASA, through June 11. Zamka will remain in Washington to aid the company’s business development efforts with the U.S. and other governments, and serve as a company face for federal policymakers, Robert Bigelow, founder of Bigelow Aerospace, said in a July 9 phone interview.

Ham, currently chairman of the Aerospace Engineering Department at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is set to join Bigelow at the company’s North Las Vegas headquarters. A Navy captain, Ham will begin developing a training program for the astronauts Bigelow hopes to recruit, and start work on operational protocols for Bigelow Aerospace’s orbital habitats.

Bigelow said the smallest space station his company plans to fly will require two BA330 modules, each of which has 330 cubic meters of internal space. The company expects to finish building the first two BA330s by 2017, Bigelow said….

Zamka and Ham are part of a broader hiring push by Bigelow Aerospace. There are about 135 people in the North Las Vegas factory now, and “we’re hoping to be by Christmas time somewhere in the vicinity of 175,” Bigelow said.

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