In April 2007 at the Space
Foundation's annual symposium in Colorado
Springs, Robert Bigelow outlined ambitious plans
for space habitat development by his Bigelow
Aerospace company over the next decade.
Beginning this month, the company plans to launch
its second Genesis 2 module, which will join
Genesis 1 currently doing quite well in orbit.
In 2008 they will launch the Galaxy module, which
islarger and includes a number of upgrades in
design and instrumentation over the Genesis modules.
The first manned capable module, the Sundancer,
will be launched in the 2010 time frame. A Sundancer
can support a crew of three.
The BA 330 modules, with 330 cubic meters of
space, could begin launching in 2012-2013. Two
BA 330 modules and a Sundancer will be formed
a multi-module station via a propulsion bus and
central docking module. Three such clusters could
be in orbit by 2015.
The plan is to rent out space on the modules
to government and commercial users. For example,
Bigelow expects that old and newly developed countries
around the world currently without manned space
programs of their own will use the BA stations
to obtain their own place in space. There will
also be companies pursuing micro-gravity
R&D and product development. Of course,
tourism will also be a big market for such
stations, though Mr. Bigelow does not want the
stations referred to as space hotels.
For further details, see Big
plans, low prices - The Space Review and Bigelow
Reveals Space Business Plan - Aviation Week.