Companies talk private trips to space

May 11, 2012 at 5:29 PM
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LAS VEGAS, May 11 (UPI) -- A partnership between two U.S. aerospace companies could eventually bring passenger trips to private space stations, officials of the companies said.

SpaceX, maker of the Dragon space capsule scheduled to take crews and supplies to the International Space Station, and Bigelow Aerospace said they have formed a partnership to market flights to Bigelow's proposed private stations, looking for international customers that could include national space agencies, companies and universities, Florida Today reported Thursday.

"Both companies were founded to help create a new era in space enterprise," SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement. "Together we will provide unique opportunities to entities -- whether nations or corporations -- wishing to have crewed access to the space environment for extended periods."

Las Vegas-based Bigelow says its proposed BA 330 inflatable habitats will provide usable volume larger than an ISS crew module with support for six crew members.

Bigelow and the Hawthorne, Calif., SpaceX said they would focus their marketing efforts on international customers, and Bigelow has already announced preliminary agreements with potential customers in Japan, Australia, Singapore, Sweden, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Dubai.

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