Bigelow report calls for use of COTS model for cislunar transportation

Cutaway illustration of a BA 330-DS module included in the Bigelow Aerospace report to NASA. The company proposes to use this module to support commercial activities in cislunar space in partnership with NASA. (credit: Bigelow Aerospace)

A report prepared by Bigelow Aerospace for NASA concludes that the commercial approach that the space agency used [...]

What’s Robert Bigelow up to now with NASA?

A model of a lunar base displayed by Bigelow Aerospace in the exhibit hall of the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in October 2011. Bigelow is reportedly finalizing an agreement with NASA on how to potentially develop such bases commercially. (credit: J. Foust)

In January, NASA [...]

Could a contracting change jeopardize commercial crew?

NASA’s Commercial Crew Development, or CCDev, program has so far been using a relatively unusual contracting mechanism that has provided both the agency and participating companies with greater flexibility to make progress on those systems. However, NASA officials indicated Wednesday that in future CCDev rounds they may shift to a somewhat more traditional contract, a [...]

Highlights from ISPCS day 2

The International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, New Mexico, wrapped up yesterday with another series of panels after an opening keynote by NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver. In her speech, Garver talked about the importance of the recent passage of the NASA authorization bill, which, while not everything the administration wanted, [...]

Highlights from day 1 of ISPCS

Wednesday was the first of two days of the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The conference, now in its sixth year, started as an opening act for the X PRIZE Cup, but has now not only continued after the end of the Cup, but has grown into one [...]

Bigelow on commercial crew and NASA’s interest in inflatables

Mike Gold talks about Bigelow Aerospace’s plans at the ISDC in Chicago on Friday.

Mike Gold, director of Washington operations for Bigelow Aerospace, spent much of his 45-minute speech at the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Chicago talking about the history of Bigelow’s development of inflatable (or, as the company prefers, “expandable”) modules, [...]

ISDC has a strong NewSpace flavor this year

I’m at the airport waiting to catch a flight to Chicago for this year’s International Space Development Conference, the annual conference of the National Space Society. (I was already supposed to be there, but Untied, er, United, canceled my flight last night.) This year’s conference has a particular emphasis on NewSpace, more so than conventional [...]

Bigelow and Trump? Probably not

A press release yesterday by a company called Broadway Media (whose founder, Mitchell Schultz, also recently started Xtraordinary Adventures, a space tourism company) announced the unveiling of a new publication: Space Cruise News, billed as “the who, what, where, when and how in the race to suborbital space” (I guess you’ll have to go elsewhere [...]

Bigelow’s big purse

Bigelow Aerospace is reportedly planning to offer $760 million to any company that can provide crew transportation services to and from its planned orbital habitats, New Scientist reported Thursday. The offer is not in the form of a prize, like Bigelow’s earlier effort, America’s Space Prize, but instead a contract that would pay $760 million [...]

Brief updates

A few minor items of note in the news the last few days:

The Washington Post profiles Space Adventures and its role in shaping the space tourism industry. The article includes a quote from current ISS tourist Charles Simonyi, who contacted the reporter “in an e-mail from space”. Not a description you see in any [...]