NASA extends life of private BEAM module

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs." --San Antonio Express-News

Capitalism in space: Having found that Bigelow’s privately built ISS module BEAM has exceeded its design capabilities, NASA has now decided to leave it docked to ISS for at least five more years, using it as a storage bin.

BEAM cost NASA a whopping $17 million, considerably less than it has traditionally spent (a billion-plus) for its previous ISS modules, designed and built under full NASA supervision.


My July fund-raiser for Behind the Black is now over. The support from my readers was unprecedented, making this July campaign the best ever, twice over. What a marvelous way to celebrate the website's tenth anniversary!

Thank you! The number of donations in July, and continuing now at the beginning of August, is too many for me to thank you all personally. Please forgive me by accepting my thank you here, in public, on the website.

If you did not donate or subscribe in July and still wish to, note that the tip jar remains available year round.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


  • mpthompson

    From what I’ve gathered in various forums regarding Bigalow, the company’s management has a very poor reputation. I hope this isn’t the case as we need companies such as this to help provide destinations for New Space to go to.

  • wodun

    Beigelow is a bit of an eccentric character. I imagine that wouldn’t go over well with a lot of space nerds.

    While I think this is great news in some ways, I’d also like to see that slot go to a BEAM2 or something a bit more capable. Or rather, I’d like to see Bigelow get rewarded by showing their tech works by giving them another more challenging task.

  • pzatchok

    I couldn’t care less if the management of Bigalow was as nutty as a box of well fed squirrels.

    That team put together a company that can now build some of the largest habitat modules on the planet and has proven there viability beyond everything NASA thought they could ever do.

    Since BEAM only cost NASA 17 million why doesn’t NASA ask them what they could build for a billion? Even if its just a water closet its still cheaper then any other module. Heck NASA could finally have that giant module it has been needing for micro gravity testing. A big room to spin stuff in.

Leave a Reply

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