JUN 07, 2016 8:26 AM PDT

NASA Astronaut Enters ISS's Inflatable Module for the First Time

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Less than two weeks ago, NASA sent an inflatable module known as the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM for short, to the International Space Station by way of a SpaceX Falcon 9 reusable rocket.
 
Within no time at all, the crew aboard the International Space Station had the thing attached to the outside of the space vehicle and ready to be inflated. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well during the first attempt to inflate the module, as it was expanding one way and not another due to friction between the module’s fabric layers.
 
Soon after, NASA attempted a second inflation attempt after they established that the technical difficulties weren’t severe. The second attempt went much smoother, and NASA was pleased to watch the BEAM inflate to its full size as astronaut Jeff Williams pumped it with air, slowly but surely.
 

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams went inside of the BEAM inflatable module to take atmospheric measurements.

 
Now, Williams has taken his steps, or should we say floated, into the inflatable module on board the International Space Station. His duties were to take measurements of various aspects of the inflatable module to ensure that it was safe.
 
Among the things that were checked are temperature, air composition, and pressure among other aspects that deal directly with whether or not it leaks or poses any threat to being used for storage or habitation.
 
Williams noted that the air inside was “pristine,” but the temperature was showing a bit on the colder side.
 
NASA hopes to see the inflatable module last quite a long time, as this type of collapsible equipment could be just what human beings need to explore other bodies in space, such as the Moon, Mars, and more because they pack away nicely into cramped spaces, such as those of a spacecraft, and then expand into habitable containers.
 
The International Space Station serves as the initial testing grounds for this type of equipment, and some day when the International Space Station is retired due to an inevitable expiration date, NASA may rely on this type of equipment to set up bases on the Moon, or even on other planets for astronauts to live inside of.
 
With that being said, ensuring they are a safe way to travel and live in are among the highest of priorities in these types of experiments.

Source: The Verge

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.
You May Also Like
DEC 31, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 31, 2019
Why Does This Star Dim Unpredictably?
KIC 8462852, also known as Tabby’s Star or the infamous ‘alien megastructure star,’ is peculiar becaus ...
FEB 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 09, 2020
Here's Why NASA Needs Another Space Station Orbiting the Moon
NASA already has the International Space Station at its disposal, and with that in mind, many have come to question why ...
MAR 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 24, 2020
How Much Do You Know About the Solar System?
Our solar system is only one out of hundreds of stellar systems residing in the Milky Way galaxy. It’s comprised o ...
APR 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 05, 2020
NASA Installs the Perseverance Rover's Wheels and Parachute
NASA engineers have been racing against the clock to finish building the Perseverance rover in time for the opportunisti ...
APR 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 27, 2020
Hubble Snaps Gorgeous Photo for 30th Anniversary
The Hubble Space Telescope surpassed its 30th year in space on Friday, April 24th. Being that it’s one of the most ...
MAY 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 24, 2020
Here's Why SpaceX is Using Heavy Stainless Steel to Make Starship
SpaceX is perhaps best known for its reusable Falcon 9 rocket, the same variety that will be lofting astronauts into out ...
Loading Comments...