SpaceX will team up with Bigelow Aerospace to jointly market rides to Bigelow's orbiting private modules, using SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule.

Bigelow, which manufactures expandable, space-ready modules that can be used individually or strung together, is also deeply involved with a number of launch providers. Of particular note is cooperation with aerospace giant Boeing, ensuring that Boeing's CST-100 capsule will be compatible with Bigelow's habitats.

While Bigelow has launched two modules for testing, none have yet been launched for habitation. SpaceX has Bigelow signed up for a 2015 launch aboard a Falcon 9.

Several nations have committed to using Bigelow's ready-made stations in lieu of building one themselves, including the UK, Sweden and Singapore.

SpaceX is preparing for its first space station docking, with the International Space Station, on or about 22 May, with an unmanned version of the Dragon capsule. Launch is scheduled on 19 May from Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Neither SpaceX nor Bigelow responded to immediate comment.

 SpaceX Dragon capsule


Source: Flight International