Bigelow Aerospace and NASA sign contract

January 7 2013 10:50:20 PM | by Clark Lindsey, Managing Editor

There have been rumors about this for awhile. NASA and Bigelow Aerospace have signed a $17.8 million contract. The details will be released later but apparently it deals with preliminary work on the proposed BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) system for the ISS: New NASA, Bigelow Deal Puts Inflatable Space Station Module One Step Closer to Orbit – SpaceNews.com.

Update: The SN article is being kept behind their paywall so here are some additional details:

The project has been under study for several years, e.g. here is an article from early 2011 : NASA Eyes Private Bigelow Module for International Space Station – Space.com – Jan.26.11

“In general we’re talking about a project that would take about 24 months from go-ahead to the module being on-orbit. It would be pretty fast-paced,” Crusan told SPACE.com. To launch BEAM up to the ISS, he said, NASA would use a private rocket company under a Commercial Resupply Services contract.
NASA has done evaluations of where BEAM would be robotically berthed on ISS – likely onto one of the station’s Node 3 interfaces, Crusan said.”

Read more: Bigelow Aerospace and NASA sign contract — NewSpace Watch.

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