Saturday, June 5, 2010

Taxi to the Stars, No: To Earth Orbit, Soon

" 'Taxi Service' to Space Pads Looking More Feasible"
Space News, Discovery News (June 4, 2010)

"Fancy your own space pad? Bigelow Aerospace has a couple orbital habitats that might be of interest. And the test launch of Space Exploration Technologies' Falcon 9 rocket today is pumping new life into the possibility of private space taxi service to such privately owned inflatable habitats.

" 'We're coming closer than ever before to having a space transportation system,' said Mike Gold, chief counsel for Nevada-based Bigelow Aerospace, which launched its first prototype inflatable spacecraft into orbit in July 2006 and its second a year later.

"Both ships, called Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, remain operational.

" 'If anything, the Genesis program was too successful. We thought it would take longer to demonstrate our technology,' Gold told Discovery News...."

In a way, that's the sort of problem to have.

If "Bigelow Aerospace" sounds familiar: you probably keep up with business news, or follow this blog. Maybe both. Bigelow's orbiting inflatable habitats are quite real, and an exciting new development. What I'll be interested in seeing is which makes it big first: tourism or industry in orbit.

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