"The world of low Earth orbit belongs to industry. You need to understand where we're going. A Bigelow module may be the next thing that begins to replace some of the functions of the International Space Station. Low Earth orbit infrastructure belongs to industry... If we don't have a viable, vibrant low Earth orbit infrastructure supported by them [commercial industry], we're not getting there [Mars]."

- Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, January 26, 2015




BEAM: THE EXPERIMENTAL PLATFORM

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is an experimental program developed under a NASA contract in an effort to test and validate expandable habitat technology. Although BEAM is a fraction of the size of the B330, it will still serve as a vital pathfinder for validating the benefits of expandable habitats. NASA will leverage the International Space Station (ISS) in order to test this technology for a two-year demonstration period.

BEAM will be launched in the unpressurized aft trunk compartment of the Dragon spacecraft on the eighth resupply mission to the ISS, SpaceX CRS-8. The launch is currently scheduled for Spring 2016.

LAUNCH SPECIFICATIONS

BEAM LIFE CYCLE

BEAM LIFE CYCLE

ISS

Hurtling around the Earth at 17,500 mph the ISS has been keeping humans alive in space for over 15 years. It symbolizes the cornerstone of international cooperation representing partners from all over the world including the United States, Canada, Japan, Russia and the 11 Member States of the European Space Agency. BEAM will be leveraging the ISS as a development platform to demonstrate potential habitation.

LAUNCH

The BEAM will be in a packed configuration in the trunk of the Dragon spacecraft.

BERTHING

The Canada Arm will remove BEAM from the Dragon spacecraft and berth the module to the Tranquility node (Node 3) of the ISS.

DEPLOYMENT

Astronauts will initiate an automated deployment sequence, allowing the BEAM to passively expand to its full volume.

TESTING

The BEAM will be monitored for pressure, temperature, radiation protection, and micro-meteoroid/debris impact detection. Astronauts will periodically enter the BEAM to record data, and perform inspections of the module.







ISS

Hurtling around the Earth at 17,500 mph the ISS has been keeping humans alive in space for over 15 years. It symbolizes the cornerstone of international cooperation representing partners from all over the world including the United States, Canada, Japan, Russia and the 11 Member States of the European Space Agency. BEAM will be leveraging the ISS as a development platform to demonstrate potential habitation.

LAUNCH

The BEAM will be in a packed configuration in the trunk of the Dragon spacecraft.

BERTHING

The Canada Arm will remove BEAM from the Dragon spacecraft and berth the module to the Tranquility node (Node 3) of the ISS.

DEPLOYMENT

Astronauts will initiate an automated deployment sequence, allowing the BEAM to passively expand to its full volume.

TESTING

The BEAM will be monitored for pressure, temperature, radiation protection, and micro-meteoroid/debris impact detection. Astronauts will periodically enter the BEAM to record data, and perform inspections of the module. of the ISS.

BEAM SPECIFICATIONS


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