Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace is planning a 2015 test of a low-cost orbital prototype designed for human occupancy on the International Space Station. If successful, the balloon-like structure could be used for commercial leases of future free-flying outposts as well as deep-space habitats for NASA astronauts. The $17.8 million Bigelow Expandable Activity Module is the company's third orbital prototype; Bigelow is operating two unmanned experimental habitats.

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