The ISS was launched in 1998, and now it's getting old and rusty and needs renovation. An addition will be added with a BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module), which is a kind of balloon that is carried up to space flat and blown up after it arrives. Robert Bigelow is the man behind the famous NIDS ranch (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show).
Once we can spend more time in space, who knows what we'll discover?
Making space stations out of fabric offers several advantages, the biggest plus being that they are lighter in weight. It may be surprising to learn that they are also safer: They give better protection than metal ones against bombardments from micrometeors and the large amount of space junk that is in orbit around Earth. They are also less likely than metals to generate dangerous radiation when bombarded with cosmic rays.
Bigelow hopes to recoup his costs by renting out the inflatable ISS to NASA and to other countries that want to research in space. But if he can't get scientific interest, he can always use it for space tourism.
Who knows what we'll discover when we stop listening to what people TELL us about Visitor encounters and start listening to the contactees themselves. Anne Strieber has talked to 23 of these fascinating people, just for our subscribers, and if you subscribe today, you can listen to them ALL.