Here for the first time you can read:
- how a space technology start-up is pioneering work on expandable space station modules
- how Robert Bigelow licensed the TransHab idea from NASA, and how his company developed the technology for more than a decade
- how, very soon, a Bigelow expandable module will be docked with the International Space Station.
At the core of Bigelow's plan is the inflatable module technology. Tougher and more durable than their rigid counterparts, these inflatable modules are perfectly suited for use in the space, where Bigelow plans to link them together to form commercial space stations. This book describes how this new breed of space stations will be built and how the link between Bigelow Aerospace, NASA and private companies can lead to a new economy—a space economy. Finally, the book touches on Bigelow's aspirations beyond low Earth orbit, plans that include the landing of a base on the lunar surface and the prospect of missions to Mars.