Okay, let’s test your ability to read headlines and determine content. Here is the headline: Bigelow to Build Inflatable Room for the ISS.
What comes to mind? Bigelow Tea? Kathryn Bigelow? Try Bigelow Aerospace:
SpaceX, Boeing, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada—some of the biggest names in aerospace, newcomers or old guard, are competing to build new spacecraft and rockets to carry astronauts to the International Space Station now that NASA no long flies the space shuttle. But Bigelow Aerospace, founded in 1998, actually wants to add on to the station itself.
The company builds inflatable orbital habitats, more like balloons than the angular metal modules that make up the space station. For years Bigelow has floated the far-out possibility of combining multiple inflatables to create a hotel in space—lodging for space tourists who aren’t content to simply see the great beyond from the cabin of a plane. NASA, however, has recently announced it plans to Bigelow’s inflatable rooms as add-ons for the ISS.
A SpaceX rocket would carry the first Bigelow Expendable Activity Module (BEAM) to the station in 2015.
Kathryn Bigelow, of course, is the director of: Near Dark, Point Break, Strange Days, The Weight of Water, K-19: The Widowmaker, The Hurt Locker, and Zero Dark Thirty.