In a 4-hour process that will broadcast live from the ISS on the morning on May 26th, NASA’s astronauts will begin to deploy the ‘BEAM’.
Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, is essentially an inflatable room. It is designed such that it takes up less room to be transported and can then expand to 5 times its original size when inflated. Roughly the size of a small bedroom, this module will be accessible from the ISS’s Tranquility module. Inflatable rooms are thought to play a key role in future space missions to Mars & beyond.
The ISS astronauts are first scheduled to enter the module on the 2nd of June 2016. However, they will not stay inside for extended periods of time as BEAM’s viability has to be analyzed first. BEAM is planned to stay deployed at the ISS until 2018 during which time it will be monitored in its capacity to withstand the harsh space environment and in terms of maintaining pressure, temperature etc. This two-year period will demonstrate the success or the failure of inflatable rooms in space.
Do not miss the live broadcast : http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv
– Mannat Kaur