Large refueling space stations could be orbiting the moon by 2020, if the Trump administration does the funding and training to make it happen, according to aerospace entrepreneur Robert Bigelow. priority.
The Robert Bigelow’s Bigelow Aerospace company has already launched three private prototypes of space habitats in orbit, in particular the BEAM, the first inflatable module of the ISS. The man at declared that a commercial station in lunar orbit would be a vital destination for theexploration of our natural satellite, the Luborn.
» The key will be the speed of the Trump administration to act “, he said in an interview this Friday, March 3 for the magazine Space. For him, the American government will have to act quickly » to energize the funds and to galvanize the private sector in order to have a refueling station around the Moon by the end of 2020.
These words from Robert Bigelow come just days after private spaceflight company SpaceX founded by billionaire Elon Musk announced the launch of a private flight around the Moon in 2018. The flight will be launched on the new Falcon Heavy rocket SpaceX which is expected to make its first flight later this test year. » SpaceX says it can provide transportation for a « circumlunar » flight by 2018. If the schedule is met, SpaceX will be able to offer commercial transportation to the moon by 2020 says Bigelow.
Last week, another billionaire and space entrepreneur, Jeff Bezos, said his company Blue Origin was working on developing its own lunar spacecraft and lunar lander.
Robert Bigelow has always advertised lunar space stations and private space habitats as goals for his company. Last Wednesday, he unveiled the images of the concept of a refueling station in lunar orbit developed by Bigelow Aerospace. The space station would be orbit somewhere between 100 and 150 kilometers abovetop of the Moon, serving as a gateway for astronaut crews en route to or from from the lunar surface.