Some people desire to visit the stars because of a few resources. Others are motivated simply by their existence. But Robert T. Bigelow, founder of Bigelow Aerospace, wants to taste the cosmos in order to establish "first contact."
(Wired Magazine) His signature quirk, however, is an obsession with space that extends beyond his business interests. In addition to the $100million Bigelow has already put into BA (and the $400million more he has promised), he has doled out millions to fund research into alien abductions and UFO sightings. He's done some of the work himself, personally interviewing hundreds of people who claim to have had extraterrestrial encounters. In fact, one of the main reasons he's so eager to get his stations launched is that he thinks they might provide a step toward making contact. [...]
(page 3) Years before he started building space habitats, Bigelow began looking for the truths he was sure were out there. He says he has met with more than 230 people who claim to have witnessed ETs. In the 1990s, he gave millions of dollars to launch the National Institute for Discovery Science, whose staff — which included several PhDs and ex-FBI agents — researched alien abductions, out-of-body experiences, cattle mutilations, and other paranormal phenomena.
While Bigelow's inspiration may cause others to laugh, it does however make one of the most successful space pioneers in the 21st Century a bit more interesting. This probably also explains the alien face which appears on some of their corporate logos.
Whether or not Bigelow's space stations help us to establish first contact will be something future historians will have to decide. Either way, Robert Bigelow is already making history with the launch of his Genesis space stations, and his next one may enable our species to finally dwell among the heavens that surround us.
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