I have been staggeringly busy of late, so this post will only be a brief one. There is much in the works. (More on that soon.)
In any event, I was stunned to read last week (in a piece from renowned space reporter Leonard David from Space.com) that NASA is in talks to purchase an inflatable module from Bigelow Aerospace for the International Space Station.
In all senses, this is a complete coup. Why? -The technology Bigelow Aerospace purchased and developed for their inflatable habitats was based on NASA’s TransHab, which itself was an inflatable module designed to be tested on the International Space Station(!). (For those unfamiliar, TransHab was intended to be a forerunner for future Mars and deep-space astronaut habitats.)
Bigelow is selling NASA’s abandoned technology back to them. It’s brilliant!
-And, I might add, this is just another instance of a NewSpace corporate space endeavor outpacing government-run space activity. If these talks prove fruitful, I think having rescued politically-torpedoed technology and successfully developing it means that the business case for NewSpace has been completely proved out.
Where bureaucracy and politics fail, private industry can succeed.