Last updated: 03:22 PM ET, Fri October 14 2016

Two Companies Aim to Launch Private Space Stations by 2020

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | October 14, 2016

Two Companies Aim to Launch Private Space Stations by 2020

PHOTO: A rendering of one of Bigelow Aerospace's expanding modules. (Photo via Flickr/Charly W. Karl) 

Travelers have been waiting long enough to tour space. But hopefully, they won't have to wait much longer.

According to, a pair of companies plan to launch habitat modules capable of hosting space tourists into orbit by 2020.

Bigelow Aerospace is currently developing a stand-alone module known as B330, which will boast 11,650 cubic feet of internal volume, enough to host up to six people. However, a station comprised of two B330s would likely house three Bigelow employees and four clients. 

"This constitutes a stand-alone space station," Bigelow founder and CEO Robert Bigelow told "It needs no other support, no other modules, no other kinds of facilities."

"Our goal is to ship those out of Las Vegas in the year 2020, and launch them in 2020."

READ MORE: Virgin Galactic Resumes Testing for Space Tourism Program

Meanwhile, Axiom Space plans to launch a more traditional habitat module into orbit in October 2020. The 50,000-pound module would be able to support up to seven people.

Axiom Space chief engineer Mike Baine told that the company foresees selling stints of the module to researchers, space tourists and astronauts from other nations.

The exciting news comes just one month after Blue Origin revealed its newest rocket, New Glenn, which it also hopes to launch by the end of the decade.

"Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step," said founder Jeff Bezos, who pointed out that the rocket "is designed to launch commercial satellites and to fly humans into space."


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