Text of the NASA/Bigelow Space Act Agreement

©Bigelow Aerospace

Conceptual Bigelow Bases

The purpose of this Agreement is to facilitate and explore, in a manner that meets both national and commercial goals and objectives, joint public/private arrangements that would continue to build the ability for humans to live and work in space through the expansion of exploration capabilities beyond low Earth orbit.

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In accordance with the National Aeronautics and Space Act (5 1 U.S.C. 20113), this Agreement is entered into by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, located at 300 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20546 (hereinafter referred to as "NASA") and Bigelow Aerospace, LLC located at 4640 S. Eastern Ave., Las Vegas, NV 891 19 (hereinafter referred to as "Bigelow" or "Partner"). NASA and Partner may be individually referred to as a "Party" and collectively referred to as the "Parties."


The purpose of this Agreement is to facilitate and explore, in a manner that meets both national and commercial goals and objectives, joint public/private arrangements that would continue to build the ability for humans to live and work in space through the expansion of exploration capabilities beyond low Earth orbit. By conducting this joint effort, the Parties build on their experience and their mutual recognition of the value of a human presence and exploration development in low Earth orbit, ranging outward from Bigelow Aerospace's existing contract with NASA to conduct a technology demonstration of expandable structures on the International Space Station ("ISS") to significant private sector involvement and operations in beyond low Earth orbit including cislunar space and beyond. The partnership continues to foster increased commercial use and research in low earth orbit on the ISS and with Bigelow Aerospace's private sector near term plans to design, develop, and operate in low earth orbit a commercial space station capability. In addition, it is coupled with private sector long-term plans of beyond low earth orbit operations including those of Bigelow Aerospace to place a lunar base on the surface of the Moon. The Parties hereby agree to embark on a series of phased activities to achieve the initial objective of, assessing and defining potential options where public and private investments enable missions and broader objectives, including exploration capabilities beyond low earth orbit.

The Parties agree that, similar to tile progress that has been made with low Earth orbit, there is potential for commercial involvement to provide economic expansion beyond government investment and potentially enable dramatically reduced costs in beyond low earth orbit activities. This joint involvement between human space exploration and commercial enablinghtilization can provide synergy and enable missions in concert with national capabilities and technology investments, such as the NASA's Orion and Space Launch System capabilities.

At the most fundamental level, the benefit that this partnership provides to NASA is captured in the Strategic Goals of the Agency:

- Strategic Goal 1 : Extend and sustain human activities across the solar system

- Strategic Goal 3: Create innovative new space technologies for our exploration, science, and economic future

- Strategic Goal 6: Share NASA with the public, educators, and students to provide opportunities to participate in our Mission, foster innovation, and contribute to a strong national economy

Per Article 5(B)(1), NASA will engage in outward facing communications intended to highlight the importance of the work being conducted under this Agreement and to encourage broad participation. Due to Bigelow Aerospace's unique position in the commercial space industry apd its ongoing outreach efforts, NASA chose to implement this Agreement without competition, and therefore this Agreement is entered into on a nonexclusive basis.


NASA initially developed the concept of expandable space habitats for use during long in-space human transit and operational periods. It was further refined for use in the TransHab module project for the ISS and is currently under commercial'development by Bigelow Aerospace. In , addition to providing large amounts of usable volume, these habitat structures showed promise in reducing the effects of radiation, lowering launch mass requirements, and requiring smaller amounts of rocket fairing space than traditional metallic structures. When NASA chose to no longer pursue the TransHab module for the ISS, the technology's appeal remained strong in the commercial sector, and in the spring of 1999, expandable habitats received a commercial beginning with the founding of Bigelow Aerospace. Bigelow Aerospace's President and Founder, Robert T. Bigelow, committed to funding a commercial development effort, and executed an exclusive licensing agreement with NASA for the Agency's TransHab patents.

NASA continued to support expandable habitat technology development and technology transition through a series of Space Act Agreements with Bigelow Aerospace: SAA-HA-02- 25(4/2002-11/2004), SAA-HA-04-46(10/2004-5/2006), SAA-AT-06-0 17(6/2006 - 4/2009), and the current agreement SAA-EA-09-002(4/2009 - 3/2014).

During this time Bigelow Aerospace proceeded to conduct initial design and development work that led into the first flight program for expandable structures, the Genesis missions, under which expandable habitat prototypes would be constructed, launched, and demonstrated in an actual orbital environment. Bigelow Aerospace contracted with the joint Russia-Ukrainian launch company ISC Kosmotras to deploy its spacecraft via the Dnepr rocket. The launch of Genesis I took place on July 12, 2006. The launch, deployment, and operation of Genesis I exceeded Bigelow Aerospace's expectations and generated invaluable performance data. The success of Genesis I was a critical first step toward validating the promise of expandable habitats and dramatically raised the system's Technology Readiness Level. To gain further experience with expandable habitats and go a step beyond Genesis I, a second similar sub-scale prototype, Genesis 11, was launched on June 28, 2007. The Genesis I1 launch, deployment, and operation was also all very successful and Bigelow Aerospace yet again demonstrated expandable habitats and increased its engineering expertise in an actual orbital environment.

As NASA reached the completion of assembly of the ISS, NASA shifted to increase utilization of the ISS including use by non-NASA entities. NASA began operating a share of the U.S. accommodation on the ISS as a National Laboratory in accordance with the NASA Authorization Act of 2005, Section 507 (P.L. 109-155). Bigelow Aerospace proposed (BAANNHlOCAOOOlK) a demonstration on the ISS to advance the technical development of expandable habitats and NASA selected and awarded a contract in December 201 2 (NNH12390355R) to test the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module ("BEAM") to gather knowledge on the certification process for expandable habitats as part of an integrated human qualified system and to obtain critical performance data on radiation performance, thermal control, and overall on-orbit utilization.

On the commercial side, Bigelow Aerospace, recognizing that there was little more to be learned from additional Genesis missions, in the fall of 2007, shifted its focus to the creation of its fullscale system, the BA 330. As the name indicates, the BA 330 will provide roughly 330 cubic meters of internal volume and can support a crew of up to six. Developed exclusively via private funding and without receiving any financial support from the federal Bigelow Aerospace has continued to mature the BA 330 and is currently on schedule to finish construction of its first privately developed habitat in 2016 ready for flight.

With the Genesis missions complete, the BEAM demonstration project underway, and a path forward for privately funded low earth orbit expandable habitats, the Parties are positioned to continue forward toward fuller commercial utilization and research in low earth orbit and initiation of beyond low earth orbit cooperation. Specifically, the Parties will further determine how expandables and private sector investment can play a critical role in enabling NASA to implement a human space development and exploration strategy that enables bold national objectives and stimulates economic expansion in an affordable manner.

The Parties hereby agree to embark on a series of phased activities to achieve this objective. The phases will be linked by a series of "Gates" as described in ARTICLE 4 below. Passage through each Gate will occur upon the successful completion of a predetermined set of requirements and the development of required agreement documents, as agreed to by the Parties. Fulfillment of each Gate is a necessary and sufficient condition to proceed to the next phase.


Two Gates are identified that constitute milestones in the determination of the benefit to the Parties in further direct cooperation. In the event that either Party does not meet any Gate, an assessment of the impact thereof to the Project will be carried out by the Parties to determine the best alternative course of action. Any follow-on agreements or modifications agreed to by the Parties in the course of implementing the Gates as described herein shall be fully incorporated in this Agreement and shall constitute a modification of this Agreement in accordance with ARTICLE 23 Modifications. .

Gate 1: Conduct a joint formulation of objectives for the commercial and government contributions and utilization for the development and exploration of space beyond low Earth orbit.

The intent of the Parties is to create a joint activity between the broader private sector industry and NASA to ensure that both the public and private sectors make a bold push for beyond low earth orbit exploration and utilization. The key to achieving such an objective is to demonstrate the value of low earth orbit for commercial research and utilization, enable broader national objectives throughout cislunar space, while dramatically reducing the cost to the public sector by ensuring private sector involvement in space exploration. The outcome of this gate is the release of common objectives by public and private involvement in space exploration. This will include private industry contributions to enable and utilize beyond low earth orbit exploration. Efforts under this gate in the Agreement are intended to serve as a beginning.

Gate 2: Assess the intersection of the capability to live and work in low Earth orbit with other commercial interests in low earth orbit and all of cislunar space, including specific commercial proposals and interests towards those ends.

To ensure the feasibility of potential contributions, Bigelow Aerospace will strive to seek inputs from the private sector on potential contributions and approaches to integration that enables a focus on more than just robust exploration beyond low Earth orbit. This will include the establishment of private sector goals and priorities. These private sector contributions and priorities will enable a joint assessment of possible integrated approaches between the public and private sectors.


A. BIGELOW will use reasonable efforts to:

1. Gate 1 : Asset Identification

Execute the work described in Gate 1 via a series of discussions and meetings w relevant members of industry, government, and NASA. Specifically, Bigelow Aerospace will leverage its existing relationships and expertise from the company's ongoing pursuit of commercial low earth orbit operations to formulate common objectives between NASA and commercial industry for beyond low earth orbit. This will demonstrate the value of new, emerging NASA and private sector supported capabilities building upon the low earth orbit model with expansion in beyond low earth orbit objectives. Bigelow Aerospace will identify which companies can make contributions, what those contributions will be, when such contributions can be made, and what conditions will be necessary to generate these private sector contributions. Bigelow Aerospace will compile this information and provide any additional research and analysis necessary to create a work-product that will describe the relevant companies, private and public sector contributions, and common commercial/government objectives. This work-product will fulfill Bigelow Aerospace's responsibilities under Gate 1.

2. Gate 2: Mission Proposals Based on the companies, potential contributions, and common objectives identified in ate I, Bigelow Aerospace will assess the intersection of public and private interests and capabilities, and use this information to synthesize a series of options to achieve joint goals from low earth orbit, throughout cislunar space jmd beyond. All of these options will focus on creating a sustainable expansion from low earth orbit to cislunar space including aspects such as lowering public sector costs by leveraging and incorporating business benefits to the commercial industry, capitalizing on rapid implementation, and protecting the government from long-term programmatic risks. Completion of this workproduct will fulfill Bigelow Aerospace's obligations under Gate 2.

3. Bigelow Aerospace will provide the necessary and facilities to support all of the work conducted under this Agreement. Additionally, Bigelow Aerospace will commit necessary funding (to cover travel costs associated with implementing this Agreement) and other valuable in-kind services.

B. NASA will use reasonable efforts to:

1. Engage in outward facing communications intended to highlight the importance of the work being conducted under this Agreement and to encourage broad participation.

2. Actively participate in meetings and discussions when requested by Bigelow Aerospace.

3. Provide in-kind support to supplement Bigelow Aerospace's. financial and logistics contributions under this Agreement.


The planned major milestones for the activities defined in the "Responsibilities" clause are as follows:

(a) Bigelow Aerospace will produce the work-product described in Gate 1 by no later than one hundred (1 00) calendar days subsequent to the execution of this Agreement.

(b) Bigelow Aerospace will produce this work-product for Gate 2 by no later than one hundred and twenty (1 20) calendar days after the successful completion of Gate 1.

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