Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Boeing throws hat in with Bigelow

Robert Block
The Write Stuff
Orlando Sentinel

Undaunted by Congressional skeptics of commercial space ventures, aerospace heavyweight Boeing Co. submitted a proposal Tuesday to NASA requesting the agency to speed up development of commercial human spaceflight capabilities.

The company said in a press release that the company has joined a total of four teams of commercial space ventures vying for a share of $50 million of Recovery Act funds given to NASA to develop technologies and processes so that commercial rocket companies can begin transporting astronauts to orbit.

The money is essentially for a study contract that will be awarded to a number of companies to develop subsystems and technologies for commercial crew transport, said Boeing spokesman Ed Memi.

Boeing already has a capsule design that it has proposed to NASA before.

According to the press release, one of the projects has Boeing joining forces with Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace, which has created self-expanding space modules that can be used as labs or hotels in orbit. The plan would be to design a system that could take crew and cargo to Bigelow’s facilities or even the international space station, Memi said in an email.

Read the Write Stuff post, HERE.

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