Watch: NASA's BEAM Module Inflates to Full Size on International Space Station

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 - 5:25PM
Space
Mars
Moon
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 - 5:25PM
Watch: NASA's BEAM Module Inflates to Full Size on International Space Station
NASA is one step closer to creating a habitat for humans on the Moon or Mars, as their BEAM module has successfully inflated to its full expanded size on the ISS. Its diameter was originally 7.75 feet while its length was about 7 feet, but now, it has expanded to almost twice its original size, with a diameter of 10.5 feet and a length of 13 feet.


NASA attempted a deployment of the BEAM module last week, but it was delayed after they ran into problems. Bigelow Aerospace, who worked with NASA to make the BEAM, believes that it was stored too long before the first deployment, which made the material stiffer than expected. But then, once the problems were rectified, NASA made another attempt on Saturday, and successfully deployed the module to its full size.

The BEAM will remain attached to the ISS for the next two years, during which time sensors will measure the radiation levels, temperature, and impact from debris, and astronauts will directly try it out for a few hours at a time 4-6 times per year. It it is shown to be effective, NASA intends for this inflatable habitat to provide shelter for a manned mission to Mars or the Moon.

Science
NASA
Space
Mars
Moon

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