Inside Genesis I after successful inflation in space. Source: Bigelow Aerospace
The first huge step was completed in the Genesis project by Bigelow Aerospace. On July 12, 2006 the Genesis I module was launched on a Dnepr booster from the Yasny Launch Base in Siberia. According to the Bigelow Aerospace website (see page) the 1/3 scale model completed all its assigned tasks.
The exclusive article from Space.com reports,
"Thanks to a boost today from a Russian and Ukrainian rocket-for-hire company, a U.S. private space firm has sent a novel expandable module toward Earth orbit—and a step forward in providing commercial space habitats.
Bigelow Aerospace of North Las Vegas, Nevada is flying prototype hardware that the firm anticipates will advance habitable structures in space to carry out research and manufacturing, among other tasks. continue reading..."
Outside Genesis I after successful inflation in space. Source: Bigelow Aerospace
Genesis II has a launch date set for January 30, 2007 and looks to be on schedule. The Genesis II will run similar tests but will also allow non-employees to pay for small objects to be sent aboard the module for $295. Not too bad of a price to be able to brag that you sent a picture of yourself into space. I mean how many people can say they have a photo of themselves in space?
Anyways, the Genesis project is the precursor to the Nautilus space station module-- a 45 ft. X 22ft. inflatable SPACE HOTEL. It was initially a design concept by NASA that was inevitably trashed. That's where Robert Bigelow comes along and purchases the TransHab technology from them. Bigelow plans to produce several of the Nautilus Transhabs with a cool asking price of $100 million.
- Genesis II- Updates from Bigelow Aerospace
- "Genesis I is About to Have Company"
- New Player in the Game: European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company--Astrium
- Money Backing the Private Space Industry.. Part 3--Robert Bigelow
- The Manifest Destiny: Mark II (Essay on our destiny as humans to colonize space)
- Bigelow Interviewed by MSNBC--Lunar Habitat in the Works
- The Top 10 Things to Experience in A Space Hotel
- About This Blog--My Purpose