.. but be warned: the commute to most any job besides astronaut is kind of prohibitive.
NASA ( @NASA ) announced on Friday that they have awarded a $17.8 million dollar contract to Bigelow Aerospace to create new expandable habitat areas that will be used to expand the current size of the International Space Station. Based on the limited and somewhat vague information given in the press release, it looks like Bigelow plans to design and implement light-weight, collapsible habitat systems that can be shipped to the Space Station and installed to accommodate a larger crew. Moar astronauts means moar science!
“The International Space Station is a unique laboratory that enables important discoveries that benefit humanity and vastly increase understanding of how humans can live and work in space for long periods,” NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. “This partnership agreement for the use of expandable habitats represents a step forward in cutting-edge technology that can allow humans to thrive in space safely and affordably, and heralds important progress in U.S. commercial space innovation.”
After Space-X Dragon’s successful docking maneuvers to the Space Station and Felix Baumgartner’s successful stratospheric parachute ride (which successfully demonstrated the utility of a commercial flight suit in emergency bail-out situations), this is yet another example of commercial innovation in the space program.