Bigelow Aerospace has created a subsidiary as part of a major push to launch a giant space station way bigger than the ISS.
Private contractors are making some bold moves to outer space, and Bigelow Aerospace has just made a big announcement about its operations that provide an indication of its ambitions for putting a space station in orbit that is a lot bigger than the ISS. The company will create Bigelow Space Operations as part of an expansion in creating commercial living spaces in space.
The company is responsible for the Bigelow Expandable Activity Modules (BEAM), which have already been connected to the International Space Station. But this big new announcement indicates that they will be pushing forward with space stations called B330s, which have 12,000 cubic feet of space, and eventually with even bigger space stations, one of which would be 2.4 times the size of the International Space Station.
The company plans to launch a B330 aboard two spacecraft by 2021, which will offer a third of the space of the ISS. The much bigger space station would be launched on a single rocket, and provide a place for scientific research without the huge cost of the ISS.
“Bigelow Aerospace is excited to introduce Bigelow Space Operations (BSO), a new commercial space company that is the sales, operational and customer service company that manages and operates space stations developed by Bigelow Aerospace,” the company statement reads. “With the two launches of B330-1 and B330-2 expected in 2021, the time is now in 2018 to begin BSO activity. These single structures that house humans on a permanent basis will be the largest, most complex structures ever known as stations for human use in space.”