NASA to Test Bigelow Expandable Habitat Module After ISS Integration

International Space StationNASA will test a Bigelow Aerospace-developed human-rated expandable habitat to collect data for deep space habitat designs after the structure is installed on the International Space Station.

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module will be attached to the space station’s Tranquility node using the Canadarm2 robotic arm on April 16 during an estimated four-hour attachment period, NASA said Wednesday.

NASA Johnson Space Center mission control will lead the operations of the BEAM habitat, which will house astronauts periodically during a two-year test mission period that includes condition assessment, sensor data retrieval and tests for solar radiation, space debris and temperature resistance.

BEAM was launched Friday aboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft that delivered 7,000 pounds of scientific instruments and crew supplies to the ISS.

Bigelow Aerospace and NASA’s advanced exploration systems division co-sponsored the BEAM project.

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