The launch of Bigelow Aerospace’s Genesis II has suffered a delay of at least 60 days, according to a statement released by its founder, Robert Bigelow.
The hit to the schedule of the second revolutionary spacecraft, which is an upgraded version of Genesis I – which was successfully launched via a Russian RS-20 Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan) intercontinental ballistic missile last year.
Genesis II was initially set to launch late 2006, but the latest delay is out of their hands, as Bigelow’s launch provider required the extra time to complete a review of the Dnepr launch vehicle that will carry the spacecraft into orbit.
‘Unfortunately, we have recently received notification from our launch provider, ISC Kosmotras, that the launch of Genesis II will be delayed by at least 60 days. I know, we are disappointed too,’ said Bigelow.
‘During a launch that occurred directly after the successful deployment of Genesis I, Kosmotras experienced its first failure in late July of last year. Since that time, Kosmotras engineers, as well as their Ukrainian partners at SDO Yuzhnoye, have conducted a thorough analysis of the Dnepr launch vehicle.
‘The Kosmotras/Yuzhnoye team have successfully identified, evaluated and resolved the problem that caused the failure. Kosmotras has assured Bigelow Aerospace that the Dnepr will soon be prepared to safely and successfully return to flight.’
Genesis I and II are a family of prototype and production space station modules, with their unique element of being inflatable spacecraft potentially aiding a cheaper solution to creating habitable modules in space, from space stations to space hotels.
Genesis II will also allow the public to ‘fly your stuff’ inside the module, for as little as $295. Over the next several years, Bigelow plans to test larger prototype spacecraft, including a full-scale prototype that could to launch as early as 2012.
‘Naturally, we are all disappointed because the spacecraft was and is ready to ship out to meet the original Jan. 30 launch date. Currently, our spacecraft is awaiting shipment to Russia with all your photos and personal items, etc. onboard,’ added Bigelow on the delay.
‘We now expect to ship the spacecraft for flight sometime in the early part of March for a launch on or about April 1.
‘Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Genesis II stands ready for its mission and we are putting this additional time to good use by testing and retesting its systems. If Kosmotras can deliver on its current schedule, we expect to ship Genesis II to Russia as we said above at some point in early March for a launch on or about April 1st.’
Meanwhile, Bigelow are continuing to work at a pace with Lockheed Martin on the Human Rating effort on the Atlas V launch vehicle. Full updates and presentations are available on L2.