Michael Belfiore revealed yesterday afternoon that not only was Bigelow Aerospace planning to unveil a new web site, it was going to announce a new service: it will fly photos or other small mementos on its prototype modules it will be launching starting this year. The first Genesis module, scheduled for launch on June 16 on a Dnepr, will carry 1,000 items provided by Bigelow employees; they will drift inside the module and be visible on video camera within the module. Starting with the Genesis 2 launch (in September if all goes well), the company will allow members of the public to fly items for a price.
The new web site went live last night. The home page looks a little cheesy, with the planet images representing various parts of the site and the cursor turning into an “alien” face that serves as a company logo, but overall the site is a step up from previous iterations. The “Fly Your Stuff” program allows people to send their photos or small items to space for $295. The company also plans to provide video feeds from both within and outside the Genesis modules. Slightly creepy, though, is the “Life and Death” feature: “We anticipate being able to display images of living systems flown aboard Bigelow Aerospace spacecraft.” What sort of “living systems” remains undefined. (Of course, if you think that’s a great idea, you can let them know through their online questionnaire.)