Bigelow Aerospace ready to step up after possible space station - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Bigelow Aerospace ready to step up after possible space station defunding

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Models at Bigelow Aerospace on Jan. 26, 2018. (Jason Westerhaus/FOX5) Models at Bigelow Aerospace on Jan. 26, 2018. (Jason Westerhaus/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The race to space is heating up for commercial businesses, including one right here in the Valley. This comes after news broke that NASA may be forced to stop funding the International Space System by 2025.

At Bigelow Aerospace, crews are hard at work, creating technology that’s out of this world.

“There is no handbook that explains how to operate a commercial space station,” Bigelow VP of Corporate Strategy Blair Bigelow said. “This is something that only the government has been doing.”

In 2016, Bigelow partnered with NASA to launch a prototype called BEAM, which stands for Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

And so far, it’s been a success.

“It was awarded a mission extension and it’s now a more operational part of the ISS,” Bigelow said. “It’s been used as a mini-warehouse of sorts.”

But folks at Bigelow have even bigger plans. This is just a scale of their latest project: B-330, set to launch in 2021, just four years before the possible defunding of the ISS.

“Abandonment of the ISS without a commercial alternative would be absolutely foolish,” Bigelow said.

So Bigelow has sent a proposal to NASA, saying the B-330 could save taxpayer money.

“It would be on the order of billions that would be saved every year,” she said.

Bigelow said they’re ready to step up and be at the forefront of the Last Frontier.

“To us, it’s a no-brainer,” Bigelow said. “It’s superior technology. It’s something that we’ve been champions of for decades.”

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