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Sunday, June 5, 2016

BEAM. Start of two-year studies

On Monday, June 6, the astronaut Jeffrey Williams enters the first experimental inflatable habitable ISS module BEAM designed to test a new class of residential units planned to be used for the study of long-distance lines (!) Of space for commercial use in low-Earth orbits. May 28 in Saturday, for seven hours filled with air inflatable pilot residential module manufactured by Bigelow Aerospace (BEAM).
BEAM was launched on April 8 on the board of the transport spacecraft company SpaceX Dragon from the spaceport Cape Canaveral, Florida, and was docked to the International Space Station module "Tranquility" a week later. Entrance to the American astronaut module will mark the beginning of the biennial data collection. Astronaut takes air samples, install the piping, remove the deployment of sensors and manually open the already empty air tanks to make sure that all the air is gone from them. Then, over the next two days astronaut Jeffrey Williams will install the sensors needed to perform the basic tasks of the project - to collect data on how the new module to cope with the harsh temperature space environment, with radiation as experiencing collisions with micrometeorites and space debris (if two the year they occur).

The entire 2-year new residential unit will be hermetically isolated from the main part of the ISS. The astronauts will enter the module is three or four times a year to collect data from the sensors and to analyze the condition of the structure. It is planned that after two years of follow-BEAM undock from the ISS and sent for a course of rapprochement with the Earth, where the fully burn during re-entry. Inflatable modules have been developed to reduce the space taken up by modules on startup, without prejudice to their inner space to outer space. 

BEAM is an example of how NASA is stepping up cooperation with the private sector of the economy in order to promote the commercialization of space. BEAM was developed and built by a private company Bigelow Aerospace, sponsored by NASA and Bigelow. The process of filling the air of the new module has provided NASA staff some valuable lessons about the behavior of soft bodies in space during their expansion. Packaged unit length is only 2.16 m, a diameter of 2.36 m deployed module length is 4.01 m, diameter -. 3.23 m module provides a 16 m3 volume of living space, and its weight is 1400 kg...

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