In all geologic time, the responsibilities are on our generation ... including you ...

Nearterm Habitats and Condos

Inflatable and Expandable Habitats

The first generation of private sector space habitats will be inflatable and launched up from Earth, to be used for private space stations, and for human missions to the Moon and asteroids near Earth.

Lunar and asteroidal materials can provide shielding, as well as supplies of water and other things.

For many decades, the American and Russian space agencies built and launched rigid habitats. In the 1990s, NASA started developing inflatable habitats with its TransHab program. However, budget cuts led to NASA abandoning that.

Bigelow Aerospace took over and has developed, built, tested, and launched inflatable space habitats, starting in 2006 when it launched Genesis 1 on a Russian converted ICBM rocket, and Genesis 2 outfitted with more equipment in 2007. Genesis 1 and 2 are a prototype of size 4.4 x 2.54 meters when inflated and expanded, totaling 11 cubic meters. Both have been a great success, and continues operating and sending data to the time of this writing in 2012, proving the stability of the materials and seals.

Bigelow has been building and will launch a much bigger inflatable -- 330 cubic meters of volume -- in 2013, called the BA330. It will have 4 large windows.

Bigelow calls these "expandable" rather than "inflatable", which makes more sense, but Google still shows an 8:1 ratio of inflatable vs. expandable as of 2012.

These inflatable modules have a standard docking port so that they can be connected to form very large space stations. They will also connect to the International Space Station (ISS) if desired.

A configuration can be rotated to produce artificial gravity by the centrifugal force.

The main advantage of an inflatable space habitat is obviously that it can be packed into a much smaller payload and then greatly expanded after delivery into space.

Testing has shown that inflatable space habitats are actually a lot more resilient against meteor impacts, because there is less shock wave propagation. They also create less secondary radiation.

More can be found about these expandable modules by this link on the Bigelow website.

PERMANENT also has a section covering Bigelow Aerospace as a leading space development company.

Rigid Space Habitats

To date, government space agencies have launched rigid space habitats, such as the International Space Station (ISS).

The Russians have their well proven Salyut space stations, and of course the history with Mir.

There was also some past work into using possibly using fuel tanks as habitats, being that the fuel tanks were much larger than their payloads. In fact, the US Skylab space station of the 1970s was a fuel tank.

There are two types of fuel tank habitat: wet launch vs. dry launch. In a wet launch, the fuel tank is outfitted inside with the floors, walls, and other basic structure before the fuel is loaded, and the payload has the internal fitouts such as computers, chairs, etc. In a dry launch, just another tank is added on top and fit out on the ground, with no fuel in the habitat tank.

Skylab originally considered wet launch but later opted for a simpler dry launch. (After all, it was government and didn't need to be profitable.)

These are all considered near term, first generation space habitats.

Habitats built structurally from lunar and asteroidal materials, needing nothing from Earth, would be considered second generation space habitats.

External links:

Bigelow Aerospace company website > Space Colonies > Nearterm Habitats, Condos


PERMANENT needs a PHP / MySQL (actually, MariaDB) programmer. Are you a PHP / MySQL programmer interested in getting into space development as a career, or already working in space development? Or do you know somebody else who might be interested?

There is an ongoing process to update this website in 2019 with a target relaunch in 2020.
This website is actually very out of date. Much of the website text content was written in the 1980s to early 2000s, but that's a different matter. As regards PHP / MySQL, some offline databases go into the 2010s, as regards professional publications, engineers, companies, etc., and this is what we need programming help with. We are updating our databases on people, organizations, publications, and other things, for open source space development for all.

The current status is we have some working databases which we have been using internally for a long time for organizing professional publications, and to track people (authors, R&D people, other professionals, quality volunteers, journalists, etc.) and organizations. We want to put information online for the general public pending a security review of the programming code.

Step 1 is fixing some bugs in what we already have, the PHP code. It is functional, and been used a long time, but there are some bugs.
Step 2 will be improving the system. Some small improvements would help its usability.
Step 3 will be a security check for putting it online for the general public to be able to access and use, but with reasonable protection against hackers.
After Step 3, the main mission is accomplished, as regards PHP / MySQL, though of course we hope to keep people engaged and happy, and the sky's not the limit.

This is a volunteer, unpaid role at this point in time. A limited paid role would be considered on a tight budget, such as for at least bug fixing with some minor improvements, and/or a security review of our code before it goes online publicly. If you or one of your friends or associates may be interested, please send an email to spaceprogrammer at ... of course this domain.

Reasons to do something yourself:

  • It will help save life on our special planet -- be part of the solution in your generation.
  • It will create and secure a better future for your children and grandchildren.
  • It could be an interesting, cool, and a fun adventure for your life!

You can join us and volunteer to help out,

... or ...

If you're short on time, you can just donate:

The Permanent Space Development Foundation, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
If you would like to make a quick donation to our humanistic cause,
then please click on one of the buttons below (which go to PayPal).

... or by cryptocurrency (which is NOT tax deductible), you can donate into any of these wallets:





... or ...

Suggest this website to other people and organizations.

To get updates on PERMANENT (occasional, not frequent), get on our mailing list.

For general or specific e-mail regarding PERMANENT, please use our Feedback page.

Leave information about yourself in our people, companies, and organizations database.

If you are interested in hiring our expertise, anywhere in the world, please contact us.
We have people in the USA and Thailand, and can travel or consult by internet.
You can call anytime, 24/7, at +66-8-1135-7977

Text by Mark Prado, Copyright © 1983-2021, All Rights Reserved.
Many website artistic design elements by Sam Fraser, Copyright © 1999-2021, All Rights Reserved.

Except where specifically stated otherwise,
Copyright © 1983-2021 by Mark Evan Prado, All Rights Reserved


P rojects to E mploy R esources of the M oon and A steroids N ear E arth in the N ear T erm

please see our

Site Map

to navigate.

For PCs, this righthand
side has a floating menu,
but if your tablet
or your PCs web browser
do not run
-- javascript --
then you must
-- navigate --
using the Site Map above.