Robert Bigelow comments on $1.05 million lawsuit against NASA

Space Science

Robert Bigelow, founder and president of Bigelow Aerospace, speaks at a news conference at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Thursday, April 7, 2016. The company will be leading an experiment on placing the first inflatable room at the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

MYSTERY WIRE — Last week, Bigelow Aerospace filed a lawsuit in United States district court alleging NASA still owes the North Las Vegas based company $1.05 million for work done developing and testing an expandable space module.

Bigelow Aerospace claims it fulfilled its contract with NASA but has not been paid in full for the work that was done between August 2016 and late 2020.

“I built the BA 330 with my own money,” company founder Robert Bigelow said. “We signed a contract with NASA and were to be paid $1.65 million total. We did what we agreed to do. We not only monitored the spacecraft for six months as specified in the agreement,  we did it for 8 months.”

The expandable module noted in the lawsuit is known as the Expandable Bigelow Advanced Station Enhancement, or the BA 330, which when in orbit can be connected to the International Space Station or similar space stations in the future.

“We’re a small company but we don’t want to be treated like a doormat.”

Robert Bigelow, Founder and President of Bigelow Aerospace, LLC.

Bigelow argues it completed promised work under its NASA contract, but that the agency has withheld payment and called for more data about pressure tests on the expandable Bigelow BA 330 space module. The lawsuit acknowledges issues including power surges and computer failures, but says tests were a success.

 “The BA 330 performed fabulously, and it still is, but NASA still hasn’t paid us. We started talking to them about this months ago, and they keep coming up with reasons to not pay us,” Bigelow added.

Bigelow Aerospace is a space technology company which develops, designs, and manufactures, among other things, expandable space station modules. 

Mystery Wire has reached out to NASA for comment on this lawsuit and will update this story as it develops.

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