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Bigelow Aerospace reveals business plan
Posted: Wed, Apr 11, 2007, 9:39 AM ET (1339 GMT)
Bigelow Aerospace, the Las Vegas-based company developing inflatable orbital habitats, released new details about its business plan on Tuesday, including efforts to target both foreign government and commercial customers. At a press conference during the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, company founder Robert Bigelow said his company planned to launch a series of inflatable modules starting around 2010 that would be capable of hosting between three and six people at a time; several modules would be linked together to form a single space station, with multiple such stations planned. One group of customers, called sovereign clients, would be astronauts from national space agencies: they would pay just under $15 million for a four-week stay, transportation included. A separate set of customers, called prime clients, would be large companies interested in leasing module space for research: a full-scale, 300-cubic-meter module would lease for $88 million a year. Bigelow expects to require up to 30 launched a year by the middle of the next decade to transport customers to and from the stations. Bigelow launched its first subscale test module, Genesis 1, last July, and its second, Genesis 2, is scheduled for launch late this month from Russia.
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