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NASA extends life of private BEAM module

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.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • 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.

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