NASA has announced a deal with Bigelow Aerospace to explore adding one of Bigelow’s inflatable modules to the International Space Station (ISS).
The ISS is the world’s only continually-habitated space station, maintained by a coalition of several nations. While the modules are mainly aimed at nations without their own space stations – those who do not participate in the ISS programme – NASA has long held an interest in a relatively inexpensive addition to the ISS.
Bigelow has been building and testing inflatable space modules, which can be linked together into a habitable space station. The company has launched two prototype habitats, in which nobody has yet set foot. Bigelow has signed a number of agreements with established launch providers, including Boeing and SpaceX.
Neither NASA nor Bigelow were available for immediate comment.