NASA TV Live: The Inflation Of The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM)
The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) will be inflated to attain its full size on Thursday, May 26. You can watch it live on NASA TV at around 5:30 A.M. EDT.
The BEAM is an expandable habitat technology exposition for the International Space Station. The expandable are lightweight and need minimal payload volume on a rocket. On the other hand, once it is deployed in space it can provide a comfortable area for astronauts to live and explore. It can also shelter them from cosmic and solar radiation, atomic oxygen, space debris, ultraviolet radiation and other elements of the space environment.
— Fabien Amoretti (@FabienAmoretti) May 22, 2016
It was transported the ISS aboard a SpaceX flight and was folded during transport to save space. It is connected to the station in April. Today it will be expanded to add a 10-x13-foot area to the ISS. This is large enough for a person to stand up, according to Engadget.
The highlight of the mission of the BEAM is its scheduled launch on the eight Space X Commercial Resupply Service mission. Once it is connected to the Tranquility Node utilizing the station's robotic Canadarm2, the BEAM will be filled with air to expand it for a two-year test period. The astronauts aboard the space will examine a series of tests to validate overall performance and capability of expandable habitats.
They will monitor its performance to help inform designs for future habitat systems. This will also provide information to address key concerns about living in the harsh environment of space.
The inflation will start at 2:15 A.M. but the livestreaming begins at 5:30 P.M. The whole process will be done by 6:15 A.M.