The first space settlement is growing thanks to NewSpace
The Space Frontier Foundation congratulates Bigelow Aerospace on its recently announced deal with NASA to add the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) to the International Space Station. The announcement of the new addition to the ISS marks a historic addition to ISS – the first private building in space that is joining the first space settlement.
“It’s like the beginning of the great stories of the golden age of science fiction,” said Jonathan Card, Executive Director of the Space Frontier Foundation. “Commercial spaceflight companies like SpaceX are providing cargo transportation, and are on track to provide crew transportation. Companies like NanoRacks provide turnkey research platforms on-board ISS, and companies like Space Adventures provide direct visitation for private astronauts. And now, ISS will be physically expanding, thanks to the NewSpace pioneer, Bob Bigelow and his company, Bigelow Aerospace. The vision of expanding off-planet is almost within reach.”
Bigelow began with some of NASA’s research for the Transhab program and, using private money and private resources, refined and improved the expandable module concept, including the deployment of two prototypes. And now, Bigelow is able to provide modules for growing ISS. In 2010, Bigelow Aerospace signed has Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with multiple nations, for them to utilize stations developed, built, and operated by Bigelow Aerospace. These stations would be built using their planned BA 330 module.
“This is a great day for Bigelow Aerospace, for NASA, for the ISS Community, and for anyone who wants to see humanity successfully expand off planet,” said Mr. Card. “We are seeing how the first space settlement is physically expanding, successfully, thanks to entrepreneurialism. Kudos to Bigelow Aerospace”