NASA Awards Bigelow Aerospace with Contract to Develop Expandable Module for ISS

January 16, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Bigelow Aerospace is getting a NASA contract for a project concerning the International Space Station. A $17.8 million contract has been awarded to Bigelow Aerospace by NASA in order to work on an expandable module for the International Space Station.

This is a major breakthrough for the commercial space company that looks to manufacture inexpensive space stations for low Earth orbit. The company came into existence in 1998 and since then they have been working on building expandable spacecraft, and went on to have their first prototypes in orbit in 2006 and 2007.

Bigelow wants to build stations for customers, aiming to create expandable modules that are capable of working on their own or being attached with others to form a bigger space station. NASA Deputy Administrator, Lori Garver, said that the partnership is a vital one that could improve human conditions in space.

space

“This partnership agreement for the use of expandable habitats represents a step forward in cutting-edge technology that can allow humans to thrive in space safely and affordably, and heralds important progress in U.S. commercial space innovation,” he said. More details regarding the module and its schedule for its addition to the station are expected to come out during the press event on Wednesday.

Bigelow Aerospace is scheduled to have a launch with SpaceX in the year 2015. Although the payload on the launch hasn’t been disclosed, we guess that it might be the module for the ISS.

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