SpaceX and Bigelow Aerospace (BA) have joined forces in an attempt to woo international customers looking to enjoy some extended periods of microgravity. The joint marketing effort will push trips to orbiting Bigelow habitats on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft using the Falcon launch vehicle.
SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will be able to carry up to seven passengers to Bigelow habitats in orbit that will be comprised of two or more BA 330 habitats. Each BA 330 habitat provides around 330 cubic meters of usable volume and can support a crew of up to six. These habitats will be leased to groups such as national space agencies, companies, and universities, and SpaceX will provide the means to get them there.
The marketing effort will kick off in Asia, where representatives from BA and SpaceX will meet with officials in Japan after the next launch of the Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft, which is scheduled for May 19, 2012.