Robert Bigelow, owner of Budget Suites of America, just posted recruitment notices. What’s newsworthy? They aren’t for his hotels; they are for Bigelow Aerospace, his self-funded orbital space complex; and there are only 500 people in the world who have work experience in zero gravity. Talk about a small applicant pool!
While most of jobs require engineering and mechanical skills, some require experience performing manual tasks during space walks! Talk about some fancy PPE!
Bigelow’s plans are to orbit inflatable, expandable “space habitat” modules made of Kevlar that can be used for tourism, research, manufacturing, and other activities, according to a Reuters article. And he hopes to secure corporate—and government—contracts, both civilian and military, as soon as the human transport mechanisms to and from orbit are developed with his partner corporations. He also has ambitions for Bigelow Aerospace to eventually go to the Moon and to Mars.
So the good news for unemployed astronauts is that there are 45 anticipated openings (no salary schedule announced yet). The bad news for Bigelow is that if he gets some government contracts for this project, he may eventually have to write file an Affirmative Action Plan. Well, most people in the applicant pool are veterans—and some are women. Wouldn’t you love to see OFCCP’s reaction to the company’s “outreach” for recruitment of candidates—out of this world!