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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bigelow Aerospace and Lockheed Martin Converging on Terms for Launch Services

Atlas V Would Be Booster for Bigelow-Built Commercial Space Complexes

Las Vegas, NV 02/05/08 – Bigelow Aerospace and Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services are engaged in discussions and converging on terms to supply Atlas V launch vehicles to provide crew and cargo transportation services to a Bigelow-built space complex.
Bigelow Aerospace already has successfully launched two of its Genesis units that demonstrated the technology and feasibility of its expandable space module technology. This experience has formed the basis for a larger commercial space complex, which is now proceeding into full-scale development.

Bigelow Aerospace is on schedule to provide a low-cost, low-Earth orbit space complex that is accessible to the private sector for commercial activities. The Bigelow architecture can be adapted for a variety of missions and is designed to provide increased volume, enhanced safety and reduced costs to the extent that space-based activities will become more affordable for entrepreneurs, small businesses and the public at large.

“I don’t think anyone could deny the excellent record and pedigree of the Atlas V401 as a quality choice to be upgraded to carry human passengers,” said company founder and President Robert T. Bigelow.

“The Atlas V is ideal to provide commercial crew and cargo transportation for this pioneering commercial space venture,” said David Markham, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. “Bigelow Aerospace possesses an unparalleled vision and entrepreneurial perspective that is crucial to truly opening the commercial space market to a larger segment of the population. Targeting the Atlas V for use demonstrates a commitment to flight-proven domestic launch services to ensure success.”

The Atlas booster has been used for decades to launch government and commercial payloads to a wide range of orbits and its reliability record is at the top of the space industry. As the simplest, most robust, and most reliable version of the Atlas V family, the 401 configuration has been selected by Bigelow to launch its space complex. This launch vehicle, compliant with the Federal Aviation Administration’s stringent requirements for unmanned spaceflight, will undergo modest system upgrades that will augment existing safety features prior to flying the first passengers.

During the operational phase, which is currently planned to begin in 2012, up to 12 missions per year are envisioned, increasing as demand dictates.

About Bigelow Aerospace:
Bigelow Aerospace is an entrepreneurial space development company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev. Its goal is to open the frontier of space to all of humanity by drastically reducing the costs and enhancing the efficacy and utility of space-based activities. The company’s primary focus is on the development of robust, next-generation expandable space habitats. Bigelow Aerospace has manufacturing facilities and offices in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Houston and Maryland.

About Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services:
Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services performs all commercial Atlas launch service missions, and provides marketing, contracting, sales and mission management for commercial Atlas missions. Atlas is manufactured by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company, formed in 2006.

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