BEHIND THE SCENES | ENTREPRENEURS WHO MAKE GREAT THINGS HAPPEN
Innovation: Inside the Space Station
Bigelow Aerospace won an $18 million contract with NASA to add a 13-foot-long, 10-foot-diameter module to the International Space Station. Roll over the numbers below to take a closer look.
COOL NEW DIGS
In 1987, Robert Bigelow founded Budget Suites of America to give price-conscious travelers a place to stay. His latest venture, Bigelow Aerospace, aims to do the same for people visiting space. The Las Vegas company, founded in 1999, makes a module that can be compressed for transport and expanded in space. Made from Vectran, a manufactured fiber spun from poly- mer, the habitat is cheaper to deploy than rigid metal structures. In January, Bigelow landed an $18 million contract with NASA to add a 13-foot-long, 10-foot-diameter module to the International Space Station for a two- year test starting in 2015. A linked group of Bigelow’s larger modules, such as the BA 330 shown here, could one day replace the space station.