Bigelow Aerospace plans to integrate the habitable volumes with the B330 expandable module and launch the module onboard the Boeing–Lockheed Martin joint venture ULA's Atlas V 552 rocket into space by 2020, both companies said Monday.
“We are exploring options for the location of the initial B330 including discussions with NASA on the possibility of attaching it to the International Space Station,“ said Robert Bigelow, founder and president of Bigelow Aerospace.
“In that configuration, the B330 will enlarge the station's volume by 30% and function as a multipurpose testbed in support of NASA's exploration goals as well as provide significant commercial opportunities.“
The B330 module, also known as the Expandable Bigelow Advanced Station Enhancement module, has an internal space of 12,000 cubic feet designed to support zero-gravity scientific research missions and manufacturing operations.
Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO, said Bigelow Aerospace's work on the expandable module aims to help advance space research in the areas of biology, medicine and materials.