The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module – BEAM – is a marshmallow-like inflatable habitat that is linked to the International Space Station. The habitat was sent to space and successfully inflated earlier this year. BEAM was developed to serve as a spacious habitat on board the space station. It also takes up less space than a traditional module. This makes it a promising solution for further expansion of the space station.
BEAM is currently undergoing a two year testing period and is regularly inspected. In the image above NASA astronaut Kate Rubins enters the habitat on 5 September to inspect and monitor the habitat’s surface. This was the first inspection since BEAM’s successful inflation on 28 May. Although NASA reports it appears to be in good condition, radiation monitors and sampled surfaces will return to NASA for further testing.
Click here to watch a quick video of the habitat’s inflation. If you’re interested in finding out more about the International Space station, click here.
Image credit and source: NASA