NASA Expands Inflatable Habitat In Space For First Time

The habitat will undergo leak checks for the next week.

By Stephanie Liebergen | May 29, 2016

NASA has successfully expanded its new inflatable habitat in space. 

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, was attached to the International Space Station before being fully expanded and pressurized.

It took over seven hours for the habitat to expand in space and just 10 minutes to pressurize. 

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Up next for BEAM, a week of testing to check for any leaks and then another week of waiting before a NASA astronaut will enter it for the first time. 

In all, the habitat will stay attached to the ISS for two years. During that time, astronauts will continue to test and monitor it to help improve future inflatable habitat designs.  

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