NASA – New Room in Space Station Has Been Installed… by Inflating it

There is a new room in the NASA space station that has been installed. However, instead of what many would think as putting the room together piece by piece, it has been placed there through inflating it. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has released a combination of images that shows the inflation of the new experimental room over at the International Space Station (ISS). The images have been released on Saturday, the 28th of May of this year. This was already the second try of inflating the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which is named after the aerospace firm that created it. This is a precursor to moon and Mars habitats, as well as orbiting tourist hotels.

NASA - New Room in Space Station Has Been Installed… by Inflating it

Images of New Room in International Space Station Have Been Released by NASA

Aside from the images that have been released by NASA pertaining to the new room, there are also additional information about how the inflation went. It has been reported that the operation did take much longer than what has been expected, as it stretched over three days in total. However, when the room was completed, it was a very sweet victory indeed.

Bigelow Aerospace, the inflatable chamber’s creator, tweeted the following using their official account over at the social media platform Twitter: “A significant milestone has been accomplished.” Jeffrey Williams, an astronaut that is currently above the ISS, spent seven hours on Saturday opening and closing an air valve in order to expand the compartment. The operation made enough air to finally seep through so that the puffy white pod could be able to stretch at its full length of 13-feet and 10.5-feet in diameter. This is the volume that is equivalent to a typical small bedroom. In order to complete the job, internal tanks have been used to provide the final pressurization.

This was also the second try of NASA at inflating the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM). During Thursday’s inflation attempt, BEAM barely expanded. It has been believed by experts that the soft-sided compartment was packed up tight for so long prior to last month’s launch. Hence, the fabric layers had trouble unfolding.

During Saturday’s inflation attempt, NASA did insist that the operation should be taken slowly to avoid a sudden pressurization of BEAM. Otherwise, it could stress out the connecting parts of the space station. While BEAM is being inflated, popping noises are said to be heard as pressure was building up inside. Officials state that it was the sound of the internal straps being released as the pop swelled in both girth and length.

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