Bigelow To Offer Inflatable Lunar Bases

After their success in installing and inflating their BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) on the ISS, Robert Bigelow has set his sights beyond LEO (low Earth orbit):

It's a space station that becomes a base on the surface of the moon," according to Bigelow.

The ambitious model shows just how far down the road Bigelow's thinking. The idea is to launch a few of his inflatable habitats into low earth orbit; attach them to each other and a massive array of solar screens; tug the entire contraption to the moon and then the space station would lower itself to the lunar surface and create a permanent base. It's all technologically do-able.

"This space game is not just a technological game by any means," Bigelow said. "It is first and foremost a political challenge and game; it's a financial challenge as well."

SF fans know all about the Igloo inflatable moon habitat from Arthur C. Clarke's 1961 novel A Fall of Moondust.

This was one of the latest models - a Goodyear Mark XX - and it could sustain six men for an indefinite period, as long as they were supplied with power, water, food and oxygen. The igloo could provide everything else - even entertainment, for it had a built-in microlibrary of books, music and video... In space, boredom could be a killer...
(Read more about Clarke's inflatable lunar habitat)

Via Las Vegas News; thanks to Jon Jeckell for the Twitter tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/27/2016)

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