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>>
A Las Vegas entrepreneur is preparing for the launch of a second home grown spacecraft, built at a plant in North Las Vegas. Hotel chain owner Robert Bigelow talked exclusively with I-Team reporter George Knapp. Watch the WEB EXTRA: Exclusive I-Team Interview With Robert Bigelow.More>>
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>>
Aerospace history was made by a local company Wednesday morning when an experimental spacecraft blasted into orbit atop a Russian rocket. Only one news team was allowed inside the command center for the launch, and that was Channel 8's I-Team. More>>
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:08 PM EDT2013-05-19 16:08:22 GMT
LAS VEGAS-- Metro officers have arrested two suspects accused of killing a teen while trying to steal his iPad. 15-year-old Marcos Arenas was run over by an SUV on Thursday near Charleston and Torrey Pines. PoliceMore>>
Metro officers have arrested two suspects accused of killing a teen while trying to steal his iPad.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:05:13 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself. But on Thursday morning, as he was assisting someone who had crashed their car, anotherMore>>
When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself.More>>
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:19 PM EDT2013-05-19 16:19:25 GMT
LAS VEGAS-- Some of the trams at McCarran International Airport are down due to an electrical failure. Officials tells us they stopped working this morning. Right now at least 2 trams are working, butMore>>
Some of the trams at McCarran International Airport are down due to an electrical failure.More>>
Sunday, May 19 2013 11:57 AM EDT2013-05-19 15:57:49 GMT
LAS VEGAS-- Nevada Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly crash on the I15 near the Speedway. We're told 3 people are dead. The driver of a Acura was driving northbound when for some reason he enteredMore>>
Nevada Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly crash on the I15 near the Speedway. We're told 3 people are dead.More>>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:25 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:25:46 GMT
As a family struggles with the death of a 15-year-old boy killed over and iPad, police are trying to track down the men responsible. Police say two men tried to rob the child of the device on Thursday.More>>
As a family struggles with the death of a 15-year-old boy killed over and iPad, police are trying to track down the men responsible.More>>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:09 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:09:50 GMT
Lines of people were wrapped around The Lotto Store twice this weekend for the second largest lottery in the history of Powerball. The jackpot has grown to $600 million. People tell 8 News Now they waitedMore>>
Lines of people were wrapped around The Lotto Store twice this weekend for the second largest lottery in the history of Powerball.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 9:02 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:02:54 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said. According to the Clark County Detention Center, the volunteer coach,More>>
A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:56:00 GMT
LAS VEGAS - Metro Police says a preteen who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted robbery has died. Investigators said the preteen was walking near Charleston Boulevard and Torrey Pines Drive withMore>>
Marcos Arenas, a Bonanza High School student who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted theft, has died, Metro Police said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:39:56 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating two people found dead in an apartment complex near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway. According to police, the bodies were found around 3 p.m. Friday atMore>>
Metro Police are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman whose bodies were found in an apartment Friday afternoon near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway.More>>
Efforts to create the world's first private space station took a huge leap forward Thursday morning when a Las Vegas aerospace company sent a home-town spacecraft into orbit. The launch took place in Russia, but mission control is located in the valley at the Bigelow Aerospace plant.
A mere 11 months ago, this same mission control team was on pins and needles for the launch of the first spacecraft built at the Bigelow Aerospace plant in North Las Vegas. The launch and deployment were flawless.
Despite that success, the minutes leading up to the second launch were even more tense, both here and 11 time zones away at the Yesny launch facility where company founder Bob Bigelow and 21 staffers have been preparing the big moment.
"The last time was a learning curve. This time, there's a lot of anticipation," said Eric Haakonstad, Bigelow Aerospace Project Director.
The second time was also the charm. Just after 8 a.m. Las Vegas time, a huge Russian rocket blasted off from Yesny, carrying the Genesis 2 spacecraft. Genesis 2 is a one third scale inflatable space habitat. If all goes well, its solar panels will kick-start an expansion of the craft in orbit.
Eventually, a larger version of the craft will be hooked up to form the world's first private space station, open for business to governments, corporations, and even space tourists.
There are astronauts on this flight -- critters including ants, scorpions and Madagascar cockroaches, sent up to help test life support systems that will keep humans alive on future flights. Engineers also added a Las Vegas touch -- a robot-controlled space bingo game, as well as a program called Fly Your Stuff, items sent up by regular folks who paid for the tiny space.
"All sorts of things. Photographs of family members, tokens, medals, different little artifacts and art forms people have made," said Haakonstad.
This second mission, a success so far, proves that private entities don't have to rely on NASA to get into space; that it's not a far-fetched futuristic dream. Engineers are already hard at work on the next step: Bigelow's Galaxy Craft, scheduled for launch next year.
"It will be a substantial technological jump over Genesis," shared Jay Ingham, a Bigelow Engineer. "Size wise, it's 50% larger volume. A lot more power and avionics. More advanced life support. We deal with short time horizons here, and it's always a push to get them done."
Bigelow seems to have NASA's full attention these days. Earlier this week, NASA announced that, for the first time, it hopes to open up the International Space Station to private enterprise sometime in the future. The local folks are pretty sure they're the ones who gave NASA the nudge.
"Absolutely. We want to be the catalyst for commercial ventures in space," said Haakonstad.
A prospect that no longer seems that far off. Just before 4 p.m., Bigelow made contact with Genesis 2 at their ground station. Everything is working according to plan, and the systems are performing flawlessly.