Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bigelow BEAMs Up to ISS

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and Bigelow Aerospace founder Robert Bigelow at today's press conference. Image source: NASA.

NASA and Bigelow Aerospace announced today at a press conference in North Las Vegas that a Bigelow demonstration module will be berthed at the International Space Station in about two years.

Called the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), the module will be delivered to the ISS on the eighth SpaceX cargo delivery mission, scheduled for 2015.

According to the NASA press release:

Following the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft carrying the BEAM to the station, astronauts will use the station's robotic arm to install the module on the aft port of the Tranquility node.

After the module is berthed to the Tranquility node, the station crew will activate a pressurization system to expand the structure to its full size using air stored within the packed module.

Watch a NASA animation of the Bigelow BEAM being installed at the ISS.

Media reports of today's event:

ABC News “Inflatable Habitat for Space Station Planned by NASA, Bigelow”

Aviation Week “Balloon-Like Dwelling to be Tested at ISS”

Florida Today “NASA Plans to Add Bigelow's Inflatable Module to ISS”

Forbes “NASA Expanding ISS with Bigelow Aerospace Inflatable”

KLAS-TV Las Vegas “NASA to Spend $17 Million at North Las Vegas Business”

Las Vegas Review-Journal “North Las Vegas-Based Bigelow Aerospace Lands $17.8 Million NASA Contract”

Las Vegas Sun “North Las Vegas Company Gets $18 Million Contract for Inflatable Space Room”

New York Times “For Space Station, a Pod That Folds Like a Shirt and Inflates Like a Balloon” “Inside NASA's Deal for an Inflatable Space Station Room”

Spaceflight Now “Bigelow Inflatable Module Bound for Space Station” “Bigelow Aerospace to Attach Inflatable Module to ISS in 2015”

Washington Post “International Space Station to Receive Inflatable Module”

UPDATE January 17, 2013 — KLAS-TV in Las Vegas reported on yesterday's media event:

8 News NOW

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