Last week, a letter surfaced from the FAA, the U.S. body governing civil aviation, to one, Bigelow Aerospace–and it contained some pretty interesting stuff.
Reuters got ahold of a letter that essentially would allow Bigelow to set up one of its inflatable habitats on the moon–at some point in the future.
Bigelow is a Nevada based business that creates space habitats. The company is currently in the process of testing one of its spaces on the International Space Station. According to Reuters:
“The company intends to then operate free-flying orbital outposts for paying customers, including government agencies, research organizations, businesses and even tourists. That would be followed by a series of bases on the moon beginning around 2025, a project estimated to cost about $12 billion.”
The founder, Robert Bigelow, says he will invest $300 million of his own funds to get the project off the ground. Bigelow’s fortune has come mainly from real estate, but also from his line of hotels–Budget Suites of America.
According to a 2010 New York Times article about the company Bigelow rarely gives interviews or speaks publicly about his company–but after this they’ve been thrust into the spotlight. It will be interesting to see how they handle it.
Just in case you’re interested in getting your hands on a plot on the moon-there are a few websites specializing in just that kind of real estate.