Space Hotel Prototype Inflates 340 miles above Earth

Bigelow Aerospace, run by Las Vegas hotelier Robert Bigelow has successfully launched an unmanned rocket (a converted ICBM) from Russia and deployed, 340 miles above the Earth, a prototype of its space-living habitat known as Genesis. Genesis is crafted in kevlar and is inflatable. The company successfully inflated the structure, which is almost like a dirigible or airship, today.

It contains two life forms: cockroaches and moths.

The company hopes to begin space tourism within 5 years.

Here is a timeline:

7/13/06: Genesis I: All systems are operating within expected parameters.
7/12/06: Bigelow Aerospace has received confirmation from the Genesis I spacecraft that it has successfully expanded. >>More
7/12/06: Bigelow Aerospace mission control has begun to acquire information from the Genesis I spacecraft.
7/12/06: A Russian Dnepr rocket carrying the Bigelow Aerospace pathfinder mission Genesis I has successfully launched from the ISC Kosmotras space and missile complex in the Orenburg region of Russia.

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