The company Bigelow Space, known for the creation of the inflatable BEAM module, which since 2016 works for the ISS, will be engaged in commercial production of orbital stations, which are going to sell NASA, to other state space agencies and even private companies.
Stations, like the BEAM module, will be inflatable, which will allow them to be delivered to orbit using conventional carrier rockets. After the module is put into orbit, it must be inflated, after which it will become fully usable.
Sales and customer search will take place in the new division of Bigelow Space Operations. The first year of its existence, it will devote to research and study the potential of this new market. Now Bigelow Space is developing a new module B330 with a volume of 330 cubic meters. Despite the fact that it is three times smaller than the ISS, its use will be much cheaper than a full-fledged space station. Hence, the rent should not be too “biting”.
In the inflatable modules B330 it will be possible to live, conduct various studies or arrange space hotels. The first module of the new type is expected to be launched into orbit by 2021. After the development of the new module is completed, the company will start creating an inflatable station Olympus, two and a half times larger than the ISS. Design and build it will be in a new plant, which is also at an early stage of construction.