Bigelow to Announce New Space Company

Robert Bigelow is scheduled to announce a new company, Bigelow Space Operations, on Tuesday, according to media reports. Last week, the Bigelow Aerospace tweeted out an announcement with a link to a website.

There are no further details at this time.

  • 868686

    BLA BLA BLA!

  • duheagle

    Good to know that, in addition to two SpaceX missions scheduled in the next eight days, there is a third space-related event to look forward to in that same timeframe. Perhaps, coming just two weeks after the Falcon Heavy maiden flight, Bigelow will announce, among other things, a new B330 design that is short enough to fly on FH inside its existing payload fairing.

  • duheagle

    Spelling, sirrah! That should be “Blah, blah, blah.” Unless, of course, you actually intend some sort of cryptic reference to the Black Liberation Army, Boston Latin Academy, Black Lung Association, the IATA standard code for the Barcelona, Venezuela airport or some of the many other meanings of this particular TLA (Three-Letter Acronym).

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    The more I read about Bob Bigelow the more I like him. He believes deeply in aliens, yet instead of waiting for them to give him a ride, he goes out and does the drudgework, and stays at it. And so late in life no less. It’s good to see a well guided and principled man with who was able to make it in a profitable business.

  • ThomasLMatula

    George Knapp reports for one of the TV stations in Las Vegas. He is a good friend of Robert Bigelow and often runs stories on him, usually about the paranormal but occasionally Bigelow Aerospace. If you do a search on knapp bigelow aerospace you will find a number of stories on him talking about Robert Bigelow and his dreams.

  • Michael Halpern

    I would not be surprized if they have been working on that, though they still have to launch the first on an Atlas…

  • duheagle

    Yeah, I suspect Bigelow is still committed to the two Atlas-based deployments. But if an FH-compatible B330 is now in the offing, it’s anybody’s guess as to whether the two Atlas-boosted missions will still be first and second.

  • ThomasLMatula

    More likely they will be discussing how they will make money operating the first one they put up. With Boeing and SpaceX getting close to be able to service them it’s time to start lining customers up.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Thanks for that. I’ll look those up.

  • Does anyone remember America’s Space Prize? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America%27s_Space_Prize

    It’s only taken 15 (well, 16 since flights look like they’ll be pushed back) years for Bob Bigelow’s dream to come true.

    Positive: Since no one seriously competed, it didn’t cost Bigelow a cent!
    Negative: It took 16 years for it to happen! (and a $1+ billion of taxpayer dollars)

  • Terry Stetler

    Musk said that Fairing 2.0 is coming and it’ll be wider. He also said that BFR/BFS is moving quick, but if it slows a longer Fairing 2.0 is under consideration.

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  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, just another example of the failure of the prize approach, along with the failed Google X-Prize and failed Ansari X-Prize. It was targeted at Elon Musk, but he decided to become a NASA contractor instead. It’s hard for private firms to complete against the deep pockets of government. But I think Elon Musk learned that it was a mistake after how NASA dragged out COTS/CCP and compromised his plans for Dragon by limiting it to a water recovery.

    I don’t think the timing of this announcement is an accident, coming after this Administrarion’s decision to finally put an end to the ISS opening the way to private space stations.

  • 868686

    As you wish:

    “Blah, blah, blah!”

  • duheagle

    I’ve seen no specifics from SpaceX about exactly what Fairing 2.0 will be. I hope it will be both longer and wider than the current model.

  • duheagle

    Me, I’m going to see what the man has to say. His track record entitles him to a respectful hearing.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Just a note, but the announcement will be the day before the next meeting of the Space Council. I also suspect that is not an accident 🙂

  • Jacob Samorodin

    I’ve hear/read mentioned 9+ meters by 45+ meters. You could put a 1/10th scale replica of the starship Enterprise inside. Shhhhh…don’t tell anyone.

  • duheagle

    Pretty sure a 9-meter hammerhead isn’t really practical atop a 3.7-meter vehicle stage. Now if a new, reusable, Raptor-powered, 5-meter upper stage was fitted to FH, then an even wider fairing would seem a lot more feasible, though 9 meters still seems as though it might be a bit much. 7 meters, though, should be quite doable. Along with a length stretch anent the current fairing, that would make FH directly competitive in supportable payload volume with not only all current launch vehicles, but with the upcoming New Glenn as well.

    We shall see what we shall see.

  • windbourne

    none of that seems likely.
    I think that once Musk gets FH fully going on the current path, and moves nearly all of the engineering resources to BFS, he will not want to devote resources to FH, other than if he loses an F[9H].
    With a fully reusable system, he will have almost the lowest possible costs. The costs of the fuel is next to negligible, compared to all current systems.

  • duheagle

    We shall see what we shall see.