Contributed by: filbert Friday, September 22 2006 @ 08:41 AM CST
SAN JOSE, Calif. If the planned Jan. 30 launch of Bigelow Aerospace's Genesis 2 space module on a Russian Dnepr rocket is successful, Las Vegas entrepreneur Robert Bigelow plans to send a human-rated habitat into orbit in either the second half of 2009 or the first half of 2010.
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At a luncheon speech today in San Jose, Calif., at the AIAA Space 2006 Symposium, Bigelow said his third module, dubbed Sundancer, would have a mass of 8,618.4 kilograms and be equipped with life support systems, attitude control, three windows, on-orbit maneuverability, reboost and de-orbit capability.
He plans to place it at an altitude of 250 nautical miles at an orbital inclination of 40 degrees. Bigelow said that while Sundancer will be a scale model of the large, human-rated habitat he eventually plans to launch into orbit, it will nonetheless have 180 cubic meters of habitable space.
"We're pretty damn serious," Bigelow said in his lunch address.