July 13, 2006
Bigelow Test Habitat launches successfully
While the crew of the Space Shuttle enjoys a well-earned day off, a revolutionary private spacecraft has joined them in orbit. Yesterday Bigelow Aerospace's Genesis 1 vehicle launched successfully on a Dnepr rocket. This is a big deal -- it is the first space test of Bigelow's plan to build a private orbital space station.
Some call Bigelow's station a space hotel, but it will be more like a private space outpost, where tourists, entrepreneurs, governments, scientists and the viewing public will gather to push forward the next phase of space development.
For more information from Mr. Bigelow himself, please read on:
July 12, 2006
Genesis I Mission Update
Bigelow Aerospace has received confirmation from the Genesis I spacecraft that it has successfully expanded.
We have also confirmed that all of the solar arrays have been deployed.
Bigelow Aerospace mission control has begun to acquire information from the Genesis I spacecraft. The ISC Kosmotras Dnepr rocket has flawlessly delivered the Genesis I into the target orbit of 550km altitude at 64 degrees inclination. The internal battery is reporting a full charge of 26 volts, which leads us to believe that the solar arrays have deployed.
The internal temperature of the spacecraft is reported to be 26 degrees Celsius and we have acquired the spacecraft's Global Positioning System (GPS) signal that will enable us to track the ship in flight.
We have initiated communication with the ship's onboard computers and expect to download more information over the next few hours.
- Robert T. Bigelow
Posted by george_whitesides at July 13, 2006 11:10 AM