Private Space Station Prototype Hits Orbital Milestone

A prototype module for a private space station has passed an orbital milestone after completing its 10,000th trip around the Earth.
Genesis 1, an inflatable module built by the Las Vegas, Nev.-based firm Bigelow Aerospace, passed the 10,000-orbit mark as it nears the beginning of its third year of unmanned operations, its builders announced late Thursday.
Bigelow Aerospace launched Genesis 1 atop a converted intercontinental ballistic missile on July 12, 2006 to test its ability to self-inflate and operate in Earth orbit. Led by businessman Robert Bigelow, owner of the Budget Suites of America hotel chain and other enterprises, Bigelow Aerospace followed Genesis 1 with a successor, Genesis 2, in June 2007. That module also continues to function as designed.