1 - the first small step for space hotels
By Erich Habich (Jul 13, 2006)
Robert T. Bigelow has a vision: to enable privately funded expeditions
a stay in space. The method to achieve his goal is based on the
concept, the patents to which Bigelow bought in 2000 from NASA.
Bigelow's track record as entrepeneur is well proven as founder
and owner of the Budget
Suites hotel chain.
The Genesis 1 is the first of two 1/3 scale prototype models of
the future line-up of space habitats, which will range from the
Galaxy class, to the BA330, which will offer 330m³ of space
(ISS has 425m³ volume).
Genesis 1 is scheduled to remain in space for 5 years, at a height
of 500km (310miles). During this time the hull will be tested, which
in the final BA330 version will composited of Kevlar and have 40cm
senior engineer William Schneider, who conceived of the TransHab
concept, is not in doubt that by 2010 the first Space Hotel will
be orbiting Earth. Of course, to reach the commercial space complex
the transportation must be sorted out.
T. Bigelow is therefore the initiator of "America's Space Prize",
which will pay $50 Million US Dollars for 2 successful dockings
with his Space Hotel in 2010: the details of the competition can
be found here.
Images in this section copyright Bigelow
Aerospace. All rights reserved.