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In the inflatable world, there are a number of things you might not think about unless you read this blog consistently. For instance, inflatables go beyond just being used as a fun escape, they have been used in life-saving inventions and in laboratories all over the world. Now inflatables are being used in space as habitats, and I’m not talking about a space-themed jumper combo.
According to Geek System, NASA has been invested in inflatable habitats for a long time, and now they may become a reality, due to a new partnership:
“A little over a week before SpaceX’s planned unmanned mission to the International Space Station, the company has announced a new partnership with Bigelow Aerospace, makers of inflatable habitats for space. [Bigelow’s] inflatable habitats offer as much protection against high-velocity impacts and radiation as traditional solid aliminum design, while offering more space at a fraction of the weight.”
Although the premise behind the deal wasn’t specifically outlined, the article says it was likely made to offer potential clients a full package deal for launching projects in space -starting with SpaceX’s rockets and ending with a project housed in Bigelow’s inflatable habitats. Even though Bigelow is a formidable provider of inflatables for space usage, it is finding itself in a tough spot, due to the minimal ways to get into space being offered:
“Like SpaceX, Bigelow is one of the few space companies with a proven track record, with successful launches and deployments of their inflatable habitats in 2006 and 2007. However, the company has struggled to push forward as the number of ways to get humans to space has remained extremely limited.”
This is possibly why Space X is starting their inflatable space station marketing in Japan – a country with a growing space program. Would you ever want to work in, live in or visit an inflatable space station? I know I would!