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Following the successful launch and deployment of two inflatable space modules, on Monday the owner and founder of Bigelow Aerospace announced plans to move ahead with the launch of its first human habitable spacecraft, the Sundancer.
The decision to fast-track Sundancer was made in part to rising launch costs as well as the ability to test some systems on the ground, company CEO Robert Bigelow said in a press statement.
The Sundancer module will provide 180 cubic meters (590.5 cubic feet) of habitable space and will come fully equipped with life-support systems, attitude control and on-orbit maneuverability, as well as reboost and deorbit capability. This larger module – sporting a trio of windows – could support a three-person crew and be on orbit in the second half of 2010, Bigelow told Space News in March of this year.