Saturday, June 30, 2007

"Private space module has success"

This sounds promising.

LOS ANGELES - A prototype of an inflatable space station module has successfully expanded and deployed its solar panels after being launched into orbit, a private developer said.

A Russian rocket lofted the Genesis II module, developed by Bigelow Aerospace of Nevada, into space on Thursday.

The 15-foot-long module's flexible exterior was folded around an inner core for launch and had to expand from a diameter of about 6.2 feet to 8 feet. The solar panels also had to extend to supply power. Both actions were confirmed, said spokesman Chris Reed.


Bigelow Aerospace is privately developing the technology with the intent to place a manned space station in orbit by 2015. Modules would be linked to form a station.

Private investment in space -- that's the way to really speed up our advance into the cosmos.

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