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At the core of Bigelow's plan is the inflatable module technology. Tougher and more durable than their rigid counterparts, these inflatable modules are perfectly suited for use in the space, where Bigelow plans to link them together to form commercial space stations. This book describes how this new breed of space stations will be built and how the link between Bigelow Aerospace, NASA and private companies can lead to a new economy-a space economy. Finally, the book touches on Bigelow's aspirations beyond low Earth orbit, plans that include the landing of a base on the lunar surface and the prospect of missions to Mars.
Dr. Erik Seedhouse worked as an Astronaut Training Consultant for Bigelow Aerospace in 2005, a company for whom he wrote the Spaceflight Participants Flight Surgeon's Manual. He also developed astronaut-training protocols for future spaceflight participants and wrote and edited several chapters of Bigelow Aerospace's Astronaut Training Manual. Erik is a research scientist specializing in environmental life sciences and physiology, the subject in which he obtained his Ph.D. in Physiology while working for the European Space Agency between 1996 and 1998. In 2009, he was one of the final candidates for selection as an astronaut in the CSA's Astronaut Recruitment Campaign. He is a certified commercial suborbital astronaut who will fly a payload mission in 2014. He is also Training Director for Astronauts for Hire and, for the last four years, served as Director of Canada's Manned Centrifuge Operations.