Bigelow Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback
Bigelow Aerospace is an American space technology startup company which manufactures and develops expandable space station modules. Bigelow Aerospace was founded by Robert Bigelow in 1998, and is based in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
A former project manager mentioned, "A typical day at Bigelow is spent putting out fires imposed by the company owner, which allows very little time to keep projects on schedule. Then, staff are fired for failing to keep projects on schedule.
Due to the lean workforce, I learned a great deal about adjacent spacecraft systems and subsystems that I would have never ordinarily have had the opportunity to be plugged in to.
Management is populated largely by professionals from outside the aerospace industry. This is due in great part to the fact that professionals from within the aerospace industry tend to get themselves fired or simply quit. In my experience, this is due to either experts being marginalized by the owner concerning the expertise for which they were hired, or it is due to a systemic inability for experts to overcome the influence of the owner, who overrides sound scientific and engineering decisions for purely aesthetic or cosmetic reasons, or worse, due to a fundamental lack of knowledge and understanding. This has resulted in a middle-management staff that in the best case attempts to manage around the owner's influence, and in the worst case, simply tells the owner whatever he wants to hear while collecting a paycheck. The owner also continually shifts the reference mission for spacecraft under development and limits worker and manager contact with subsystem vendors. These two extraordinarily inefficient managerial edicts, when weighed together, are restrictive to the point of causing complete program chicken-and-egg deadlock: System performance requirements cannot be reliably created because the reference mission is not firmly set, and therefore, it cannot be determined if such a system is available within the defined cost parameters. Meanwhile, because adequate performance requirements for a system cannot be delivered to the owner to deliver to a vendor for developing a quotation, and because the owner routinely ignores aerospace expertise in his workforce, the owner believing himself an expert simply supplies his own requirements to the vendor. Unsurprisingly, the end result of this supreme managerial inefficiency is continual cost overruns and schedule delays.
The owner has attempted to create a leaner, faster, better company culture, which is underscored by authoritarian top-down-only communications and routine firings punctuated by generous company parties to commemorate holidays or spacecraft launches. In doing so, the company owner has established a workplace culture that strongly devalues safety and quality control, viewing these efforts as burdensome and expensive. The culture has also developed a strong hot potato and cutthroat survivalist mentality, with managers and workers forced to single out one-another to account for schedule delays or programmatic setbacks, unable to identify the true cause: incompetent meddling by the owner or mandated changes in program scope, design, or timeline by the owner. Firings have resulted from these meetings often enough to galvanize a culture of job insecurity and fear regarding interactions with the owner. The owner, in turn, attempts to mitigate the negative perception on occasion with bonuses or lunch-party-style events, which together have instilled a strange sort of Stockholm syndrome for the very few, long-term company survivors. To cap the cultural chaos, the owner has downsized the company about every five years since inception, and in the worst ethical practice I have seen in my career, has in at least one instance let go an entire program's worth of staff on their first day because he changed his mind about the company direction.
The hardest part about working at Bigelow Aerospace is navigating the completely dysfunctional managerial environment."
Senior Mechanical Engineer (Former Employee) says"Difficult work environment. All activity is overseen by the company's owner, Mr. Bigelow. He runs everything his way and regularly changes business directions, including terminating projects and support personnel. Cons: Work very unstable, no job security"
Project Manager (Former Employee) says"A typical day at work is spent putting out "fires" imposed by the company owner, which allows very little time to keep projects on schedule. Then, staff are fired for failing to keep projects on schedule. Cons: Extreme mismanagement, unethical firing practices, unreasonable expectations, lack of safety culture, non-technical micromanagement of technical programs"
Chief Scientist (Former Employee) says"No morale, absolutely no job security. Owner fires 20 to 40% or workers without cause each year. Coworkers are excellent, and do not deserve the treatment they receive there. Cons: Everything Else, too numerous to list"
Test Engineer (Former Employee) says"If you want to worry if everyday is your last, then go Bigelow. The whole culture is one of "if I make a mistake I am gone." Working on space environments sounds exciting but there is no continuity due to the fact that turnover is extremely high. Favorites of the CEO get to do nothing and get praised for it. No training is available unless you are one of the chosen. Cons: Everything"
Senior Management (Former Employee) says"Work-life balance"
Operations Manager (Former Employee) says"Terrible, was the worse aerospace company I ever worked for. Stay away, don't waste your time, look for real aerospace work elsewhere. It was a big mistake."
Mission Manager (Former Employee) says"If you are ok with being micromanaged by a non-technical CEO that does not listen to his system matter experts & took away PTO and vacation...than THIS is the company for you. Cons: Toxic. low morale. No respect for people and their experience."
Sewing Machine Operator (Former Employee) says"Never share your opinions with ANYONE. Just keep your head down & do your job without ever screwing up. Then & only then do you have a chance to survive more then 6 months. Too much tension to tolerate. Company morale is so terrible. If you take a job here, do not burn any bridges from past employers as you me be right back @ their doorstep before you know it. Cons: back stabbing, gossiping, rumor spreading, constant tension & fear of being fired"
Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLSS) says"Hands on but chaotic work. Tended to be more for show than for go. Not able to effect the necessary change in management's mind to effect program success. Cons: Never really went anywhere"
Engineer (Current Employee) says"The CEO micromanages everything."
Receptionist (Former Employee) says"I worked for Bigerospace Aerospace years ago. I was not impressed. I only had the job about a week. They let me go because they claimed my desk area was messy after I ate lunch, but there was no actual break room for employees to eat in. I felt as though I was a clean employee and I still exemplify a clean home and current workspace at my employer at my current employer, that I have worked at for nearly four years. Clearly, I was not a good fit for this company, but that should have been discovered at the interview, and I should not have been hired. There also was not enough work to keep me busy for 8 hours a day. Cons: not enough work"
Employee (Former Employee) says"The people that work here non management are some of the most talented people in the industry. Management is the hardest thing to work for here. They will fire you for no reason. There is no place for advancements. Everyday you come to work you don't know if it will be your last. Cons: Black Cloud of termination every day."
Rather not say (Former Employee) says"All salaries were paid by the owner. There was an effort to get funding from NASA that didn't happen. As of this week, all remaining employees were terminated, 20 last week and 19 in January Cons: Hostile environment."
Quality, Safety and Test Manager (Aerospace) says"At first employment I was literally amazed and was beyond belief that I landed employment at what I believed to be the absolute imperial palace of employment opportunities."
Mechanical Design Engineer (Former Employee) says"Mr. Bigelow doesn't seem to have a very solid sense of direction in what he wants to accomplish. He is very inflexible in working with anybody that disagrees with any of his ideas or concepts. He has very poor people skills."
Quality and Safety Manager (Former Employee) says"Very tough place to work, Upper Management does not promote teamwork and fails to provide the CEO with a road map for success. Very high turnover rate. Cons: poor financial benifits, odd vacation benifits"
FABRICATION SPECIALIST Operated (Former Employee) says"management only want yes men, don't want someone who has any common sense. blue prints or diagrams are not approved in a timely manner."
Technician (Former Employee) says"Working at bigelow aerospace was interesting. The people you work with is what keeps you there. With only 3 products ever made job security is not very high. Cons: health benifits, not enough work for everyone hired"
Sewing Technician - Soft Goods Dept. (Former Employee) says"Working for Bigelow Aerospace was a series of learning experiences both good and bad. While the company has potential for vast innovation in the aerospace field, Mr. Bigelow tends to hold his cards too close to his chest, and as a result there is secrecy instead of collaboration. Everything we COULD talk about was so far removed from what we were actually making that it often times felt like we were "playing house in space"."
IT Support Staff (Former Employee) says"Not enough time to evaluate employer as it was my first civilian job after military. Cons: Not enough time to evaluate"
Former Employee - Engineer says"I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for less than a year Cons: Almost everything about this company is a CON. The owner is a VERY big con, the management is a big con, the vision of this company is a con, the pay is a con, the entire benefit structure is a con. The only good thing is they pay you and if the company was allowed they wouldn't pay you."
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for more than a year Cons: Read all the other reviews because they are 100% true (except for the fake positive reviews.)"
Former Employee - Human Factors Specialist says"I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for more than a year Cons: poor management,,,, really poor, horrendously poor, stupendously poor"
Current Employee - Engineer says"I have been working at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for more than 3 years Cons: Most of the reviews here are 100% true. I've worked in the Aerospace industry for 20 years and I have never seen a company like this. I wouldn't even consider this an actual "Aerospace Company". There is nothing Aerospace about it, unless you count endless amounts of Models. The company just had a huge lay off blaming the whole COVID19 situation but those of us who worked there saw the writing on the wall almost a year ago. The entire soft good department was let go a few months back and they had the most important job for the company. Most of the time employees pretended to do work or "stay busy". There was never any positive direction here. Instead employees were treated like prisoners and micro managed at ever level. The owner is completely delusion and viewed most to all employees as expendable. There are endless OSHA violations and unsafe working conditions that have been completely ignored by upper management. The actual plant is located in the worst part of Las Vegas, in fact building A has several bullet holes in it from local gang bangers. First impression of Bigelow Aerosapace is a dusty old trailer, something you would find in a used car lot. There is no real future here,I've seen this company ruin many lives and families. stay far away."
Former Employee - Engineer says"I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for more than a year Cons: A horrible place. Absolutely complete disconnect from upper management, no communication, no company goals, NASA constantly flip flopping on mission direction on a weak budget, also Bigelow Aerospace puts absolutely no value in their employees. If you like the vacuum of space, this is the place to work, you are literally working in a vacuum of company goals, general office technology (no laptops, no phones, no email, no internet access, old software, poor IT system, and not much of a budget to get any real projects completed). Upper management gives no respect for the experience in education and industry knowledge that you bring to this place."
Former Employee - Security says"I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for more than 8 years Cons: There are really too many to cover all. So I will focus on the security department for which I worked. It is located in an old construction trailer that has been there since the place opened over 20 years ago. Guess it was never really destined to be the "security" headquarters, but at Bigelow Aerospace even the paper cups in the "cafeteria" are accounted for. The furniture and upholstery is duct taped, the carpet worn over the past 20 years. The flagpole is crooked, but even it it weren't, it is too costly to fly a flag. The "security department" is not trusted with its own budget and must file requests with the shipping clerk or one of the upstairs secretaries to even purchase a stapler (following three price quotes). The leadership has no background in law enforcement or related fields, and it often shows. Favoritism is rampant and the morale between the security guards is some of the worst I have ever witnessed. There were altercations in front of employees and guests, clip boards thrown after vehicles entering the checkpoint, if guards felt ignored by passing employees. In order to keep the blacktop clean, perimeter patrols of unpaved sections (about 50%) were unauthorized. When it came to any sort of report writing, the illiteracy of some guards was shocking, especially for being employed by an "aerospace company". Lastly, short of a "once in a while" computer lecture, there was absolutely no relevant training. But I guess it would not have mattered, as none of the guards would be physically able to bridge the distance between the office and the campus in a reasonable time anyway, let alone any sort of taking physical control of an emergency situation. The pay increases are minimal and are individually "suggested" to upper management. I have not even touched on marksmanship capabilities... Long story short...don't work here! Spend a little more time to find a reputable job with a reputable company. This is not it!!"
Former Employee - Manager says"I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for less than a year Cons: Please read every negative comment in the preceding reviews. Can you spot a trend? This place is a grind. As lofty as the goal of space exploration is, this company truly views the requisite talent as no more valuable than those working in the hospitality side of the owner's business. Actually, it should be said that some pretty industrious, remarkable, and respectable people work at Budget Suites (which funds Bigelow Aerospace) as well as at the administrative office which supports both business entities. The bottom line is that the owner makes it clear that employees serve at his whim, and his whim is ever fluid and mercurial. Everyone working under Robert Bigelow deserves far more respect than they've been afforded. There are a number of philosophies, practices, and core values that tank this company for anyone who wants to pursue a meaningful career: You are suspect from the very beginning. The presumption is that everyone is out to get a piece of RTB, thus no one is afforded trust from the outset. That is why a number of highly-educated space industry professionals are not allowed their own phones (I'm talking landlines!) and were barred from email and internet at one point. Investment in people, processes, infrastructure, and technology are considered a drag rather than a recognized investment in improving the enterprise. Professional development is non-existent. Procedures are ad hoc. Compliance, what's that? Telephone system is archaic PBX and messages are hand written. Creaky network supports PC's at least 5 to 12 years old. Software is old and paying for maintenance and support viewed as "they're ripping me off" rather than necessary cost to stay on cutting edge of a competitive industry. HR is non-existent. Large capital outlay for high-dollar prototypes, mockups, models, and the building and land, but no budgeting, project management, or goal-setting. There is no sustainable business model in practice. Just whim after whim without any regard to maturing the company and building something that lives on past the owner's shedding of his mortal coil. If you are looking for a stepping stone job to get you into the space industrial complex, then give Bigelow Aerospace a try. Once you're in, though, don't be surprised if you're sending out your resume, again, before long."
Former Employee - Herd says"I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for more than 8 years Cons: Too many; owner, his direct team, lack of benefits, no trust, the last of stability, revolving door, oh no email/internet because the owner is so paranoid you’re going to steal his ideas."
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"I worked at Bigelow Aerospace full-time for more than a year Cons: There isn’t enough room to provide all the Cons. Every day you wonder if you’re going to be fired on the spot and walked out by guards. The morale in the company is completely shot because of this. They are so behind on technology that you actually revert backwards in your career progression. They have taken away email and internet away from half the company because the owner doesn’t trust his employees. If the company senses you’re the least bit smart, you’ll do EVERYONE else’s job. Oh, and you won’t be compensated a dime extra for your hard work. Its located in the heart of “fabulous” North Las Vegas... No bonuses, horrible health benefits. Zero time off until after your first year and you actually fear taking time off because you’ll get fired during your time off. Absolutely zero perks to the company. There is zero happiness, nothing at all boosting the morale of the people. Even the entire IT group walked out on this company. I highly recommend if you value your happiness - you avoid this company. I ignored the reviews thinking a company couldn’t be this bad, that it had to be disgruntled unhappy employees...and lo and behold."
says"I have been working at Bigelow Aerospace Cons: Email privaledges have been revoked for 90% of company. Internet access has been revoked for 80% of company. Purchasing freeze, including some budgeted items. IT department dismissed entirely."