Friday, February 4 2011 10:30 AM EST2011-02-04 15:30:56 GMT
NASA officials will be in Southern Nevada Friday for an announcement that could make international news. They'll be at the North Las Vegas plant of Bigelow Aerospace, a company on the cutting edge of efforts to promote private enterprise in space. Bigelow is about to invest in a major expansion that will mean up to 1,200 new jobs over the next year.More>>
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:29 PM EDT2013-05-25 16:29:57 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The Vintner Grill banquet facility inside the Fashion Show Mall has been shut down. According to the Southern Nevada Health District website, the facility was closed Friday after an inspectionMore>>
The Vintner Grill banquet facility inside the Fashion Show Mall has been shut down.More>>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:34 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:34:21 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A family is in awe of how many lives their son touched. The funeral for Marcos Arenas, a 15-year-old boy apparently killed over an iPad was held Friday. Marcos was a freshman at BonanzaMore>>
The funeral for Marcos Arenas, a 15-year-old boy apparently killed over an iPad was held Friday.More>>
Saturday, May 25 2013 8:13 PM EDT2013-05-26 00:13:38 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas opened its doors to the public, but everyone couldn't get in as the park reached capacity even for gold pass members. Several people expressed their frustrationMore>>
The Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas opened its doors to the public, but everyone couldn't get in as the park reached capacity even for gold pass members.More>>
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:27 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:27:34 GMT
LAKE MEAD, Nev. -- Thousands of people are expected to go to Lake Mead this weekend, to cool off and relax. While there will be lots of fun on the water, the National Park Service rangers and Nevada DepartmentMore>>
Thousands of people are expected to go to Lake Mead this weekend, to cool off and relax.More>>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:27 PM EDT2013-05-25 00:27:45 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Federal felony charges were filed against a Las Vegas man for attempting to destroy a local children's autism learning facility by fire and explosive devices, Nevada's U.S. Attorney DanielMore>>
Federal felony charges were filed against a Las Vegas man for attempting to destroy a local children's autism learning facility by fire and explosive devices, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said Friday.More>>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:59 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:59:58 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada says the Clark County school board may have opened itself up to legal problems in appointing a new superintendent late Tuesday. A private citizenMore>>
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada says the Clark County school board may have opened itself up to legal problems in appointing a new superintendent late Tuesday.More>>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:40 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:40:18 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital will maintain its federal funding despite not meeting some of the government's requirements. The hospital came under scrutiny for its discharging procedures.More>>
The Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital will maintain its federal funding despite not meeting some of the government's requirements.More>>
Friday, May 24 2013 5:05 PM EDT2013-05-24 21:05:30 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County Grand Jury has indicted Michael Smith on murder and assault charges in the shooting death of a man in January. Michael Smith is accused of killing Carlos Bell on Jan. 14,More>>
The Clark County Grand Jury has indicted Michael Smith on murder and assault charges in the shooting death of a man in January.More>>
Aerospace history was made by a local company Wednesday morning when an experimental spacecraft blasted into orbit atop a Russian rocket.
The privately funded space program is the work of Bigelow Aerospace and could eventually lead to a hotel in the sky.
News stories don't come much cooler than this.
Thousands of people drive by the Bigelow Aerospace facility in North Las Vegas every day and have no idea about the revolutionary things happening behind the fences. If everything goes according to plan, what happened there Wednesday morning will eventually change the world -- make that "worlds" plural.
The command center inside Bigelow Aerospace looks a bit Star-Trekkish, but the agenda was all too serious. All eyes were focused on events half a world away. A Russian rocket called a Dnepr (nepper) blasted out of a silo at a Siberian military base.
Tucked inside was a 14-foot long experimental spacecraft called Genesis One, a one-third scale prototype of an expandable space habitat that is the lynchpin of what founder Robert Bigelow hopes will be a whole new space race, one that involves private companies instead of governments.
Robert Bigelow said, "Expandable systems represent the future in three ways."
Bigelow launched his personal space program a mere 6.5 years ago and with virtually no fanfare. He and his team took up where NASA left off by designing light, sturdy, expandable space habitats that could house science experiments, commercial businesses and of course, space tourists.
Bigelow made his fortune in the hotel business, so he knows plenty about how to run hotels, even in zero gravity.
The I-Team was allowed to document the progress of the program at different stages as it struggled to overcome bureaucratic hurdles created by NASA and other agencies. Bigelow hired the Russian Kosmotros Company, which is in charge of converting former nuclear missiles into commercial vehicles for carrying all sorts of things into space. That transaction not only took millions of dollars but required the okay of the State Department.
After receiving world from Siberia that the launch went well, the Bigelow team had to wait for several hours to find out whether Genesis One would function and whether it was in the correct orbit. No biggie, all they have riding on it is the future of the company and of space exploration.
Eric Haakonstad, program manager, said, "There has been a lull, not much for the public to be excited about and participate in. This project is changing that."
Robert Bigelow continued, "This is about getting people up there? It is. If we can demonstrate that it's safe and efficient and inexpensive, then it's a big deal."
To our knowledge, Bob Bigelow has never granted an on camera interview, so Wednesday saw more than one first.
It wasn't until just after 2 p.m. that the word came from above that Genesis One was right where it was supposed to be.
The company expects to have its next launch by early December, and while it's going to be a few years before any space tourists make the trip, the very next flight is going to take up mementos from regular folks.
There are a whole lot of Las Vegas style touches in the works that the I-Team will tell you about on Thursday.
George Knapp, Investigative ReporterExclusive: Las Vegas Company Makes Aerospace HistoryMore>>
Ever dream of taking a trip into outer space? Las Vegas businessman Bob Bigelow has taken a giant leap toward fulfilling such dreams. The I-Team's George Knapp is here with news about how all of us can participate in this new space race.More>>