APR 17, 2016 09:19 AM PDT

NASA Successfully Attaches Inflatable Module to the ISS

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

After an official delivery from a recent SpaceX mission, NASA’s plans to attach an inflatable module to the International Space Station for testing were a success.
 

NASA's new inflatable module filled with air after it was attached.


NASA reports that the inflatable module was attached to the International Space Station successfully over the weekend with the help of an external robotic arm.
 

A robotic arm on the International Space Station attached BEAM.


Dubbed the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM for short, the module is filled with air and kept at a constant pressure to ensure it will be habitable.
 
Over the time it is attached to the International Space Station, it will remain air-locked from the rest of the International Space Station during the testing period. This will prevent any leaks that could occur from posing any risk to the rest of the International Space Station.
 
During its testing, astronauts will monitor its performance. They’ll keep a close eye on oxygen levels, temperature levels, radiation levels, and check up often on how its material handles impacts from small space junk. It'll be used only for storage for now, rather than as a habitation module.
 

A concept of an astronaut going into the inflatable module.


In the event that a small puncture does occur, the inflatable module is designed to collapse on itself rather than pose any threat to the International Space Station.
 
Inflatable modules are step in the right direction for space travel, because they are easily compacted to take up a small volume of space in the trunks of the spacecrafts that deliver them.
 
In fact, these kinds of inhabitable modules may be useful for long-term missions on other planets, such as Mars because many of them can be packed into a small storage compartment. Moreover, along with 3D Printers and materials, astronauts could have a highly-portable habitation concept in their hands.
 
BEAM will remain attached to the International Space Station for two years for testing. After the testing phase is complete, BEAM will be inspected and NASA will make any necessary modifications to better construct the device for its needs.

Source: NASA, Tumblr

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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