Science & Technology

Astronauts get their first look inside BEAM, the first expandable space habitat

9 days after the Bigelow Expandable Exercise Module was blown up to its full quantity, astronauts entered the bedroom-sized BEAM compartment for the first time today and began hooking up the utilities.

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams reported that the BEAM’s inside appeared “pristine.” It was chilly inside, however there have been no indicators of condensation on the partitions. The temperature was about 44 levels Fahrenheit at the module’s bulkhead, as anticipated, in keeping with readings obtained by floor controllers at NASA’s Johnson Space Middle.

Williams and Russian crewmate Oleg Skripochka took air samples, checked sensors, measured the module’s dimensions and started hooking up air ducts. Then they floated again via the hatch and closed the door. The job will proceed over the subsequent couple of days.

BEAM shall be examined over the subsequent two years to find out how nicely the fabric-covered construction withstands the barrage of space particles and radiation in addition to the orbital temperature swings from daylight to shadow. For many of the time, the module will simply sit locked and empty.

At the finish of the experiment, the 13-foot-long pop-up room shall be jettisoned into space, to deplete throughout atmospheric re-entry. However BEAM is predicted to blaze a path for a brand new era of modules that may be flown into space in a compact configuration, then unfolded into spacious habitats to be used in Earth orbit or deep space, on the moon or on Mars.

BEAM was constructed for NASA by Nevada-based Bigelow Aerospace underneath the phrases of a $17.8 million contract. In April, Bigelow and United Launch Alliance introduced plans to launch a module in 2020 that may develop to supply 20 instances as a lot space as BEAM. That module, generally known as the B330 as a result of it may develop to a quantity of 330 cubic meters, might or might not find yourself being linked to the Worldwide Space Station.

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please stop the adblocker for your browser to view this page.