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NASA is Not the Only Space Workplace Downsizing (Bigelow Too)

Bigelow joins NASA on the “downsizing” list. This is from Spacenews.com last week-

Bigelow Aerospace, which is developing inflatable space habitats for commercial use, laid off some 40 of its 90 employees Sept. 29, a company official confirmed.

“We are proceeding with a core group of fifty plus engineers, managers and support staff,” Mike Gold, Bigelow Aerospace’s director of Washington operations and business growth, said in an emailed response to questions from Space News. “This core group allows us to retain key human capital and capabilities, with which we are continuing to aggressively pursue the development and eventual deployment of the BA 330 system.”

The BA 330 is a six-person inflatable space station Bigelow Aerospace of North Las Vegas, Nev., is developing to serve commercial and government human spaceflight markets. The BA 330 is one of the proposed commercial platforms Boeing Co. intends to serve with the CST-100 space capsule it is developing with financial assistance from NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program.

Bigelow Aerospace employees told Space News that the company laid off nearly all of its machinists and that most of the workers retained are associated with the Boeing CCDev effort. Bigelow’s partnership with Boeing on the CST-100 predates Boeing’s 2010 CCDev award…

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13 Responses to “NASA is Not the Only Space Workplace Downsizing (Bigelow Too)”

  • If NASA really wants to help emerging companies like Bigelow get off the ground while also promoting commercial crew launches beyond those required by government, then it should start the ball rolling for Bigelow by purchasing BA-330 modules and deploying them near the ISS, several kilometers away, as a space hotel for NASA astronauts and as a back up space station for the ISS.

    The Delta IV heavy could be used to deploy the Bigelow space station modules near the ISS. And Russian spacecraft could be used to shuttle NASA astronauts and tourist to the space hotel until US commercial crew vehicles are ready. There’s no reason this couldn’t be done by 2013 or 2014, IMO.

  • John:

    NASA is not responsible for Bigelow’s future ( or a hotel, motel venture ) Marcel and the Delta IV heavy has no more payload capacity than the Shuttle and its not reusable. Maybe a bunch of rich Hollywood actors will fund it for a “reality TV show” where the winner gets to come home alive…

  • Marcel:

    It is in America’s and NASA’s long term interest to help the commercial manned spaceflight industry get off the ground. A space hotel near the ISS would be for NASA’s use, allowing them to place more astronauts into orbit and to serve as a place of refuge just in case something should happen to the ISS. Once the SLS is operational, then the largest Bigelow’s space stations canals be placed into orbit with internal high G centrifuges to see if such devices can mitigate or even eliminate some of the problems associated with a microgravity environment such as the blurred vision many astronauts are experiencing after returning to Earth after several weeks or months in space.

  • John:

    No, its not in America’s best interest for taxpayers to subsidize private or commercial space ventures or any kind of “Solyndra” venture.

  • Purchasing a valuable product from private industry for government use is mutually beneficial for both government and private industry. The government really doesn’t build anything. Private industry does.

    Although I have serious doubts that photovoltaics will ever be economically competitive with nuclear energy, I don’t think its wrong for government to take a chance investing in new clean energy technologies. The government spends $30 to $80 billion a year of tax payer dollars protecting the Persian Gulf oil routes for the petroleum industry.

  • John:

    The new government “clean energy” industry is called money laundering Marcel. It is wrong when a corrupt administration roles the dice using taxpayer money knowing full well they would lose. The Bigelow product is not something the American people need, just like they don’t need the wasteful spending on another Constellation redux ( SLS ). It just became another Congressional shady deal.

  • MAC:

    …a fertile and prospering commercial space industry with Space X, Bigelow etc. is NOT a priority for the US government and therefore for NASA…all the political signs and steps point into the opposite direction…

  • The SLS will give America almost complete dominance over cis-lunar space if it is used and used aggressively.

    But in today’s political environment, the US government is not supposed to do anything but watch US corporations leave the US while investing in China’s infrastructure and technological future while fascist China gradually grows to economically dominate the world.

    There are many countries around the world that follow the philosophy of not investing in their technological future: they’re called Third World Countries!

  • Space:

    Marcel-
    The US doesn’t have the political will to dominate cis-lunar space. You won’t see this until it looks like someone else will, then it will be panic time again.

    I don’t see the Chinese doing it either. I just don’t think the Chinese have the kind of imperialism that has people worked up in their DNA. Look at South America. They are there for oil, but they have hardly put the region under their thumb like the US always has.

    An example from history is Zheng He’s navy. Zheng He builds up a huge navy in the 15th century that would have rivaled Spain, England and Portugal, then when he passed, the emperor just scrapped it. It was as if the message was “This kind of thing is not what China is about.”

    Whenever I meet Chinese I like to bring this up and see if they agree, and they do. Just yesterday I was renting a house and asked my new landlord about it…he’s Chinese…

    Wait…. Doh!

  • The goal of the ruling oligarchy in China is to enrich and preserve the power of the Communist Party. They don’t represent the Chinese people, they rule them. Most of the wealthiest people in China either belong to the Communist party or are close relatives of communist party members.

    And their goal is not to do what’s in the best interest of the world but what’s in their own best interest. The ruling oligarchy in China doesn’t want to conquer the world, they just want to own it! The ruling oligarchy in China has no problems with the Chinese people or the rest of the world– as long as they’re obedient:-)

  • mac:

    salve marcel
    I dont know if your comment is an answer to my words…
    but you`r wright. I just hope the money will be spent prudently so that NASA is able to lead the way, and the commercial industry (lets call it that way) like fe space X or others are GIVEN THE CHANCE to find their way and grow. I just dont like the total dependance of the commercial industry to the govenment…

  • John:

    Well I think the only way to allow the private and commercial aerospace industry to flourish is to get NASA and the government out of their way. That means NO taxpayer subsidies. Its called the free market.

  • mac:

    ..but dont they need help (financial, technological) to beginn with it? Spacebusiness in any way is a very difficult and expensive matter. Maybe in the beginning it isnt doable without help, even if a market would exist.

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