Joint Commercial Crew Venture Announced Between SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace

A joint commercial crew venture has been announced between SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace to use the Dragon space craft to fairy crews and supplies to and from the  planed Space Station Alpha. Space Station Alpha is a commercial space station under development by Bigelow Aerospace.

Above is a full scale mockup of Space Station Alpha at Bigelow Aerospace's Nevada facility. The three modules would be launched separately and docked together on orbit. Up until now Bigelow Aerospace's  biggest issue has been the transportation of crew and cargo to an from this and similar orbital facilities.

That is where SpaceX and their Dragon spacecraft come into play. It is capable of carrying up to seven people into orbit. and where as the Russian Soyuz is only capable of carrying three. An unmanned version has already successfully flown in space with the second one scheduled to visit ISS later this month. Currently this unmanned launch is scheduled for may 19th. The Dragon is also well on track to becoming the next U.S. spacecraft to carry a crew into orbit.

The plan is to provide national space agencies, companies, and universities with access to space they currently lack. Both SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace are at the for front of the privatization of spaceflight and they were both with the goal of the commercialization of space flight. With out this step space flight will never become to viable and sustainable. This is truly an important step forward in space flight.



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