NASA is in the middle of jettisoning its old business model. The U.S. space agency is trying to figure out what kinds of products and services it should buy "off the shelf" from companies like SpaceX, and how much should it invest in its own development in order to push American discovery to the next level.
Robert Bigelow thinks a happy medium can be found. The founder of Bigelow Aerospace made a fortune in the hotel and real estate businesses, and he's pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into an enterprise that will create inflatable habitats designed for life beyond Earth. He entered into an agreement with NASA to provide a report on how ventures like his could help NASA get back to the moon, and even Mars, faster and cheaper.