Bigelow Aerospace announced Tuesday the creation of Bigelow Space Operations (BSO), the next step from the company’s effort to build the earth’s first habitable private space station.
The completely new company is usually required as Bigelow Aerospace is usually “seguing into becoming a production company” after existing as “a laboratory for 17 years,” CEO Robert Bigelow said on a conference call with reporters. “Bigelow Aerospace doesn’t sell anything, and also also also has no plans to.”
BSO will act as the marketing, customer service and also also also — when the company’s space stations are launched — operations center for Bigelow’s products.
“We will spend millions of dollars This particular year to drill down on a conclusion as to what the global space market is usually going to look like,” Bigelow said. “When we look at what is usually the commercial picture, as far as humans’ use of space today, that will’s a whole lot different than that will was 10 years ago.”
Thus far BSO has brought on a handful of staff, including a chief operating officer as well as sales and also also also contracts officers. Bigelow said the company plans to hire “another three to four dozen employees” from the coming weeks. Eventually, once stations are operational, Bigelow says he expects BSO’s staff to expand to “between 400 and also also also 500.”
Bigelow Aerospace already has its habitable test module BEAM docked with the International Space Station. that will arrived in April 2016 for a two-year mission to test the durability of the module. The modules built by Bigelow expand once they are deployed in orbit.
Next up are Bigelow’s B330 line of stations, advertised as “fully autonomous standalone space stations.” Two are currently being built, B330-1 and also also also B330-2, and also also also Bigelow says both are “very far along in fabrication.”
“They will be ready for launch in 2021,” Bigelow said.
After that will is usually the Olympus type, which Bigelow says is usually eight to 10 years away. Olympus would certainly be nearly 2½ times the habitable volume of the ISS, and also also also would certainly require a rocket capable of lifting 75 tons to 80 tons of payload. Bigelow Aerospace has existing contracts with ULA and also also also SpaceX, yet Bigelow did not offer completely new details as to which rockets will carry the coming station modules.
“There are several different categories [of rocket] in play right now so we do not rely on SLS,” Bigelow said, referring to the Space Launch Systemcurrently being built.
In a news Discharge regarding the creation of BSO, the company said that will will need to build a completely new manufacturing plant “in Florida, Alabama or [another] suitable location.” When asked about the completely new facilities, Bigelow offered no further guidance or clarification.
Last week Bigelow said he “applauds” the Trump administration’s”focus on commercial partnerships for low-Earth orbit” after that will announced plans on Feb. 12 to end NASA’s funding of the International Space Station in 2025 and also also also begin a completely new $150 million program to build commercial platforms in orbit. Bigelow repeated his call Tuesday for the administration to work further with NASA on how commercial ventures will have access to contracts coming from companies and also also also countries to develop a low-Earth orbit ecosystem.
“that will’s one thing I call upon the Trump administration to become involved in,” Bigelow said. He added that will Bigelow Aerospace has yet to have any conversations with the White House about competing with NASA, while emphasizing his company is usually open to discussion.