Bigelow Aerospace and NASA sign contract

January 7, 2013 5:50 pm Eastern | by Clark Lindsey, Managing Editor

There have been rumors about this for awhile.

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Comments (10)

Arnie Theisen
For those new to the subject, and before someone else says it in a negative way; NASA originally developed the inflatable module; up to a point. They never launched one. Bigelow bought the rights to further and improve that development and has put two modules into orbit. I won't name the one person who might say that Bigelow is simply selling something back to NASA and the tax payers who owned in the first place. For those who think the ISS is a waste of money, I say it should be expanded & Read More
8th January 2013 11:13am
Coastal Ron
Certainly it makes sense to use the ISS for technologies we want to use in LEO and beyond, and as I recall this was one of the original justifications for it.

If we want to learn how to live and work in space, then we need to do that in space, and the ISS is the best place for it right now. Let's make the most of our $100B investment!

8th January 2013 12:04pm
Since when did Node 4 become an option?
8th January 2013 10:32am
It's not. These slides are extremely outdated.
8th January 2013 10:52am
power point time machine! thanks nasa! :P
10th January 2013 1:10pm
I think this underscores the importance of NASA bootstrapping new space companies.
8th January 2013 9:25am
Robert Zimmerman
This contract signing is a significant event, with important ramifications.

Among them but most important, it continues and emphasizes the steady and increasing transfer in the aerospace industry of ownership and power from the federal government to the private sector. NASA here is merely the customer. It will build and design nothing, only buy the module and launch services with cash.

8th January 2013 8:23am
Coastal Ron
And this is a new trend for NASA, but one that is still below the radar for Congress, who still uses NASA as a way to fund "programs" that have money flowing thru certain states and NASA centers.
8th January 2013 9:53am
Clark S. Lindsey
Without NASA managers explicitly choosing to do so, the falling budget may be forcing NASA to evolve into a NACA/NSF type of organization.

That is, NASA will be like NACA in that it will develop leading edge technologies, such as the TransHab inflatable habitat, that it turns over to private industry, which will then take the technology to the implementation level.

And it will be like NSF in funding science projects like Curiosity and MESSENGER.

8th January 2013 6:02pm
I think that's already how the President sees NASA's evolving. Unfortunately, I am not sure that's how Congress and many at NASA see it.
8th January 2013 9:52pm
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