Frequently Asked Questions
- What is it like to work at Bigelow Aerospace?
- We have a fast-moving, hard-working work force that is continually challenged by our objectives. We value bright, intelligent people who can work in a team to meet critical deadlines. The commercial space industry is in its infancy and we are on the frontline of the action.
- Is Bigelow Aerospace building a space hotel?
- No. Because our founder is also in the apartment business, the media sometimes reports that we are building a space hotel. Instead, we anticipate that our clients primarily will be governmental and corporate entities interested in building an astronaut program or performing microgravity research.
- Are you in the space tourism business like Virgin Galactic?
- Virgin Galactic and other space tourism companies are offering sub-orbital space flights - trips that go to the edge of space for a few minutes, then immediately return to earth. Our space modules are orbital, placed high enough to circle the earth for many years. We are primarily focused on providing sovereign clients (individual or groups of nations) and companies with the opportunity to lease space and resources aboard our habitats for a broad array of activities, ranging from turn-key astronautics to conducting ground-breaking and lucrative biotech research. We are committed to providing service tailored directly for their needs, whether that is establishing a national astronaut corps via 30-60 day stays at our complex, or leasing entire modules for long-term microgravity experimentation spanning years. We are committed to providing our clients with unparalleled access and control over their experience, payloads, and environment. We offer a way for countries to bolster their human spaceflight programs while at the same time reducing their budgets, or for smaller countries that thought human spaceflight was beyond their financial reach to enjoy capabilities that until now only the wealthiest nations have been able to sponsor.
- How are you different than the International Space Station?
- There are many differences. The ISS has an "aluminum can" design, while our modules expand with much greater volume. We believe our space station will offer greater radiation and ballistic protection. Essentially the ISS rigid hull stores equipment on the walls of the core. The astronauts occupy the remaining central tunnels surrounded by their equipment, which only allows them access to their equipment from one direction. The Bigelow Aerospace architecture is exactly the opposite to address these volume and access issues. Our equipment is centrally located and packed in the core while the astronauts live in the large expansion volume surrounding the equipment core. This innovation allows equipment access from all sides and directions rather than limited to one front panel. Via the quantum leap in volume provided by expandable habitats, Bigelow Aerospace will be able to far exceed the useable value of the ISS at a fraction of the cost.
- How can Bigelow Aerospace offer space station leases at an affordable price?
- Through ten years of R&D, we have made decisions to make our products affordable to our future customers. As an entrepreneurially-minded company, we carefully manage all costs. We plan to take advantage of economies of scale and pass those savings along to our clients. Unlike governmental space entities, we don´t do anything unless it makes financial sense in the context of a reasonable business model. Cost plus is not in our vocabulary.
- What are your Prices?
Bigelow Aerospace will provide customers with unprecedented opportunities at extraordinarily low prices. Please click the following link for pricing information
Bigelow Aerospace Customer Information
Is there a market for your space stations?
- The ISS has a limited number of participant countries, primarily the U.S. and Russia, with only occasional opportunities for other nations. Our space stations will be available to many more customers. Perhaps most importantly, our modules will be leased for a tiny fraction of the cost of the ISS. Microgravity is an emerging area of research with great financial potential. Unique opportunities exist only in microgravity for the development of nanotechnology, stem cell production and medical research. For these and other reasons, nations and companies are interested in affordable access to space.
- When do you expect to have your space station built?
- We believe that our technology is ready to be deployed. In fact, we have two successful prototypes in orbit right now. However, we need transportation to and from our space station.