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SpaceX wants to fly you to expandable habitats orbiting the Earth

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SpaceX is partnering up with Bigelow Aerospace in a deal that could one day see customers flown to expandable habitats in orbit around the planet.


SpaceX has announced a new partnership that could eventually see the company's Dragon spacecraft used to ferry passengers to habitats orbiting the planet. Once they arrive, customers would be set-up in an expandable habitat called a BA 300, which is being developed by Bigelow Aerospace and provides 330 cubic meters of space — or enough room for six people. It features an inflatable hull that can be expanded once it's in orbit, and multiple units can be linked together to provide more space. There are solar panels and batteries to provide power, and four large windows to give inhabitants a nice view of the Earth from space.

Or at least, the BA 330 will include those features when it eventually heads in to orbit, which isn't expected to be until 2014 at the earliest. For now, Bigelow and SpaceX will be focusing on marketing the idea of a trip to an inflatable space station, with efforts expected to begin in Asia sometime soon. But if SpaceX's attempt to reach the International Space Station is any indication, there's a good chance we'll see at least a few delays with the launch.