After the initial failure, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) has been successfully deployed in the second attempt. What’s more, astronaut Williams and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka have already entered the inflatable space module collect an air sample and begin downloading data from sensors on the dynamics of BEAM’s expansion. According to the duo, the module is cold, but looks “pristine”.
It took over 7 hours of air pumping to deploy the BEAM. For those not in the know, the BEAM launched April 8 aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft. It was then attached to the International Space Station (ISS).
The BEAM module essential to the studies on inflatable habitats that are easy to ship, but provide greater volume for living and working in space once expanded. If all goes well, scientists will test how well it holds against the solar radiation, space debris, and extreme space temperatures.