…commercial spacecraft manufacturer/provider Excalibur Almaz (EA), that is. And they ferried two partially-constructed commercial space stations with them.
A primary competitor to Bigelow Aerospace on the commercial space station frontier, EA has leveraged 20th-Century Russian military space technology in a bid to accelerate a fully-functioning private spaceflight program to orbit. Because it is based on preexisting technology, (which was originally known as “Almaz,”) primary elements of the spaceflight system have already been through flight testing, giving EA a distinct research and development (i.e., cost) advantage. They’re currently working to update the Almaz space system.
Should EA’s number of flights grow to six a year or more, (according to their recent press release,) it would be economically-feasible for them to launch and sustain the legacy space stations on-orbit for government and academic research as well as space tourism.
If EA is able to complete their modernizations quickly, they’d be at a distinct advantage compared to Bigelow in that EA is developing both spacecraft and space stations as part of their program.
Bigelow is reliant on someone else’s spacecraft to reach their inflatable habitats.