June 29, 2007

ANOTHER STEP FORWARD FOR PRIVATE SPACE:

The second experimental pathfinder spacecraft by Bigelow Aerospace, Genesis II, has been successfully launched and inserted into orbit. The privately-funded space station module was launched on a Dnepr rocket Thursday morning from the ISC Kosmotras Yasny Cosmodrome in the Orenburg region of Russia.

The company reports the flight and stage separation of the Dnepr performed as planned, with Genesis II separating from its rocket about 14 minutes into orbit. The company’s Mission Control in North Las Vegas, NV made first contact at 2:20 pm Thursday afternoon.

Robert T. Bigelow, Bigelow Aerospace founder and owner of the Budget Suites of America hotel chain, has committed $500 million toward building a private commercial space station by 2015, according to the International Herald-Tribune.

I wish them continued success.