Bigelow Ends Furloughs, Starts Hiring Again

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver is given a tour of the Bigelow Aerospace facilities by the company's President Robert Bigelow on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, in Las Vegas. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Some good news out of Las Vegas, courtesy of Space News:

Bigelow Aerospace, the North Las Vegas, Nev., developer of inflatable space habitats that laid off almost half its employees in September, is ending a “furlough Friday” policy it had instituted for the remaining work force and is looking to do some hiring, according to a company official.

“The furlough has been terminated and new hiring is occurring,” Mike Gold, Bigelow Aerospace’s director of Washington operations and business growth, said in a March 20 telephone interview.

Gold would not say how many new employees Bigelow wanted to bring on, or what sort of work they would be doing.

A former employee with knowledge of the company’s latest personnel moves told Space News that Bigelow employees had been working at reduced wages and taking one unpaid “furlough Friday” per pay period since last summer, and that the last of these was March 16.

The former employee added that the new hires would likely be model makers who will start construction of a mock-up for the company’s BA-2100 Olympus module. That module would be even larger than the six-person BA 330 habitat, a structure with some 330 cubic meters of internal volume that Bigelow has been working on, and which the company intends to market to sovereign and private clients.

Read the full story at Space News.