SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace Join Forces to Offer Crewed Missions to Private Space Stations

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Bigelow Aerospace (BA) have agreed to conduct a joint marketing effort focused on international customers. The two companies will offer rides on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, using the Falcon launch vehicle to carry passengers to Bigelow habitats orbiting the Earth.

According to Bigelow Aerospace’s President and Founder, Robert T. Bigelow, “We’re very excited to be working with our colleagues at SpaceX to present the unique services that our two companies can offer to international clientele. We’re eager to join them overseas to discuss the substantial benefits that BA 330 leasing can offer in combination with SpaceX transportation capabilities.”

The BA 330 is a habitat that will provide roughly 330 cubic meters of usable volume and can support a crew of up to six. Bigelow Aerospace plans to connect two or more BA 330s in orbit to provide national space agencies, companies, and universities with unparalleled access to the microgravity environment.

“SpaceX and BA have a lot in common. Both companies were founded to help create a new era in space enterprise,” said SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell. “Together we will provide unique opportunities to entities — whether nations or corporations — wishing to have crewed access to the space environment for extended periods. I’m looking forward to working with Bigelow Aerospace and engaging with international customers,” Shotwell explained.

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will be capable of carrying seven passengers to orbit. With the company’s Falcon family of rockets, SpaceX says it is working to create the world’s safest human spaceflight system.

The companies will kick off their marketing effort in Asia. Representatives from Bigelow and SpaceX will meet with officials in Japan shortly after the next launch of the Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft. That launch has a May 19th target date with a backup on May 22nd.

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3 Responses to SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace Join Forces to Offer Crewed Missions to Private Space Stations

  1. Grand Lunar says:

    What would this mean for the CST-100, then?

    Or is that not under Bigelow’s control?

  2. John Urwin says:

    This is great news.
    Keep it up!
    -john

  3. James McEnanly says:

    The BA 330 is to space stations what the IBM 360 was to mainframe computers. Originally, computers were so expensive that only powerful nations could build and operate them. With the introduction of the IBM 360 in 1965, even companies and universities could afford their own computer.

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