Monday, June 9, 2008

Aerojet Provides Propulsion for Space Hotel

You see, these sorts of things are what keeps me writing these stories.

I get to write things like "the space hotel's gots rockets now!"

This entertains me.

Anyway, the news of the day (or rather, last week since I'm a bit behind) is that aerospace manufacturer Aerojet has agreed to a $23 million deal with Bigelow Aerospace to provide propulsion for the aft section of their Sundancer space hotel prototype. This propulsion system will be used for docking maneuvers, in conjunction with the fore propulsion system for attitude control, and eventually, for de-orbiting the craft when it is no longer needed.

Aerojet has worked on many space-related systems before, and among other things, will provide propulsion systems for the Mars Science Laboratory. A system similar to that which is planned for the Sundancer was successfully used to land the Mars Phoenix Lander a couple of weeks ago.

The Sundancer module (for those of you who don't know) is Bigelow's first human-habitable space hotel prototype. The inflatable module will be able to support a crew of three, and if it is successful, it will be used as a part of Bigelow's first operational tourist hotel. Launch is expected sometime around 2010.

Progress: 3.73%  Flight Time: 0:05:35

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