New details about the $17.8-million Bigelow Expandable Activity Module for ISS were revealed today.
According to Irene Klotz at Reuters, the inflatable module will weigh 3,000 pounds. It will measure 13 feet long and 10.5 feet in diameter. This is about the same size as the free-flying Genesis I and II modules, which Bigelow already has in orbit, but a slightly different shape.
NASA has not yet formed definite plans for how astronauts will use the new module, which will be delivered in mid-2015 by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Bigelow is interested in using the module to study how the presence of crew affects an inflatable module.
The module will be installed on the International Space Station’s Node 3. NASA has already purchased the Falcon flight for the module, according to Leonard David at Space.com.
Clark Lindsey at New Space Watch reports that the module will be delivered on the eighth flight of the SpaceX Dragon capsule using the capsule’s unpressurized cargo section.
In another interesting development, Bigelow has named the seven sovereign customers who’ve expressed interest in leasing space aboard a future Bigelow commercial space station. Bigelow has preliminary agreements with the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Sweden and the United Arab Emirate of Dubai, according to Reuters.
According to another report by Leonard David, Bigelow expects to have two BA 330 modules ready for construction of Space Station Alpha by late 2016. The Bigelow 330 is a much larger module, weighing 43,000 pounds with a diameter of 22 feet and length of 31 feet.
Bigelow Aerospace previously announced that it plans to charge sovereign customers $23 million for a 30-day stay aboard a Bigelow space station. That price includes space transportation, astronaut training, and consumables. Boeing hopes to supply transportation to the station using its CST-100 capsule, as shown in the following video.