Bigelow lays off half its workforce


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

This isn’t confirmed, but a twitter comment via Trent Waddington suggests that Bigelow Aerospace has laid off half its workforce. (A hat tip also to Clark Lindsey.)

Share

3 comments

  • Kelly Starks

    Seems to have been confirmed by 51 other suddenly ex employees.

    Bigelow bought a team that was developing inflatable spacestation/space ship modules for a canceled NASA project, and built up some very good spaceship /station modules for sale or lease. Effectively real estate development for space. Problem is he bet that by the time his stations are ready, a commercial passenger and cargo launch would be in operation. Non is, and he (likely because of that) isn’t able to sign up the big numbers of customers he was hoping for (at one point he was talking about contracting options for up to 24, 6 person, launches per year – dwarfing all other maned operations in history. Now hes talking much smaller – and launch systems developers are no longer seeing him as a market worth developing a ship for.

    Same chicken and egg thing again I guess. no ones going to develop a lot of systems for space with no reliable affordable way to get there; and no ones able to build and operate a reliable affordable way to get there without a market for it.

  • Joe2

    That is of course the whole problem with so called ‘Commercial Space’.

    A lot of wishful thinking and very little reality.

    By the way I am and long have been a big supporter of inflatable modules.

    If this story is true, I am very sorry.

    Unfortunately it was predictable.

  • Nameless

    It is true, I am one of the 70 employees that were let go. At my last count there were approximately 105 employees working there including the security staff. Security makes up about 15 of those. I won’t say what my job title was. In reality I believe (whether Mr. Bigelow is aware of this or not) they were much farther from a BA 330 launch than any one outside the company realizes. Key designs like deployable (properly sized) solar arrays, hatches, airlocks and a functional eclss were far from complete. With the turnover ratio of qualified engineers at BA, these design short comings would have eventually come to light. For a professional engineer BA was hardly the ideal place of employment, I won’t get in to specifics here but anybody with ties to BA knows what I am referring to. Well; just a little rant, the rumors are true. Most of the employees there were model makers, that was really the heart of the business, creating Hollywood style third scale models of future space debris… : )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *