Robert Bigelow is not a small name in the space world. His company Bigelow Aerospace is a pioneer of inflatable spacecraft, and the company has made waves with its plans for an inflatable, orbiting space hotel (not coincidentally, Bigelow's fortunes come from his ownership of the Budget Suites motel chain). So when he says something about the future of space travel, we listen. On the other hand, when he says that China is planning to take over the moon circa 2025, we listen, but with skepticism.
This tubular spacecraft could serve as a reusable vehicle for lunar and deep-space missions, holding a crew of six and enough supplies for a two-year expedition.
Dubbed Nautilus-X, for "Non-Atmospheric Universal Transport Intended for Lengthy United States eXploration," this craft could be built in orbit and ready for space missions by 2020, according to a briefing by NASA's Future In Space Operations group.
Think Robert Bigelow's much anticipated, sometimes ridiculed idea to build an orbiting space hotel from inflatable, habitable modules is something of a pipe dream? NASA apparently doesn't think the technology is bunk.
Robert Bigelow's inflatable space stations could get another look from NASA because of the space agency's new direction, but the space hotel visionary has already set his sights on the moon. He has begun planning for inflatable modules that could serve as a lunar base for up to 18 astronauts, SPACE.com reports.
Dot-com millionaire Elon Musk put his profits into orbit.
By William JacobsPosted 11.14.2004 at 1:55 pm 0 Comments
Late this month, if everything goes according to plan, Space Exploration Corporation, or SpaceX for short, will launch its privately funded two-stage rocket, Falcon I, into low-Earth orbit, carrying with it the U.S. Department of Defense’s TacSat-1 satellite. The ride costs just under $6 million, a price that undercuts the competition by up to two thirds. â€We want to be the Southwest Airlines of space launches,â€ says SpaceX CEO and PayPal founder Elon Musk.