"NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver announced Wednesday a newly planned addition to the International Space Station that will use the orbiting laboratory to test expandable space habitat technology. NASA has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide a Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which is scheduled to arrive at the space station in 2015 for a two-year technology demonstration."
Keith's note: I will be live blogging the press conference at @NASAWatch
Keith's update: Apparently some news media were given advance copies of a press release and images while others were not. Some of us were given dial-in information for the press event, others were not. If NASA and its commercial partners want the media to pay attention to what it is they are doing, then they need to make it easy - not hard for us to do so. FAIL.
"NASA has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide a new addition to the International Space Station. Lori Garver and Bigelow Aerospace Founder and President Robert Bigelow will discuss the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module program at a media availability at 1:30 p.m. EST (10:30 a.m. PST) Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Bigelow Aerospace facilities located at 1899 W. Brooks Ave. in North Las Vegas."
Keith's 8 Jan note: Planning is underway for press conference next Wednesday in Las Vegas where Lori Garver and Bob Bigelow will announce an agreement to work toward putting inflatable modules on the ISS. NASA signed a contract with Bigelow Aerospace in December 2012 focusing on the Bigelow Expanded Aerospace Module (BEAM). I have asked NASA PAO if there will be dial-in media availability for the media event. Awaiting a reply.
"Total Award Value $17,865,903
Description of Work UNDER THIS CONTRACT, THE CONTRACTOR SHALL CONTRACTOR TO PROVIDE AND OPERATE THE BIGELOW EXPANDABLE ACTIVITY MODULE (BEAM) ON-BOARD THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS). THIS EFFORT IS FOR PHASE 2 OF THE BEAM ISS DEMONSTRATION MODULE PROJECT, AND ESTABLISHES THE REQUIREMENTS, PERFORMANCE METRICS, COSTS, AND MANAGEMENT OF THE EFFORT THAT WILL BE USED TO DESIGN, DELIVER, AND OPERATE THE BEAM."