WASHINGTON — NASA has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide a new addition to the International Space Station. The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module will demonstrate the benefits of this space habitat technology for future exploration and commercial space endeavors.
Irony time: in the late 1990’s, NASA spent a fair chunk of change to develop the “Transhab” inflatable module to be attached to the Space Station, providing a large volume. But NASA rather suddenly abandoned the whole effort. Bigelow snapped up the technology and the rights, to form the basis of first-generation “space hotels.” Now it looks like NASA is paying Bigelow to study adding a Transhab to the Space Station.
Garver and Bigelow Aerospace Founder and President Robert Bigelow will discuss the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module program at a media availability at 1:30 p.m. EST (10:30 a.m. PST) Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Bigelow Aerospace facilities located at 1899 W. Brooks Ave. in North Las Vegas.
I wish ‘em luck. Back in early 1999, I flew to Vegas for a job interview with Bigelow; it turned quickly surreal, and was not only disastrously unsuccessful, I later found out from side channels that I was seen not as a prospective new hire but as a spy. Yeah. I didn’t get the job.