We are sure squatting on the TV, when flying on Friday opened up room a SpaceX rocket into space and eat on Sunday at the docks. Then, the room is blown up and tested by astronauts for two years.
Even 2013, NASA and the private aerospace company Bigelow Aerospace (BA) had agreed the development of a module that flies into space when folded and is inflated until after docking to full size. 17.8 million $ NASA cost the order is made. Now, the folding room for astronauts is ready.
Beam engine is first inflated in space
The advantages of a space station is that can fold up until the flight in space: the modules must not be installed all exits. They can be assembled on Earth, but space-saving fold during the flight. Customize this in the cargo spaces of supply rockets, which the ISS regularly with material supply. On Friday, a Falcon 9 rocket SpaceX spacecraft is dragon to the ISS fly. The rocket will start on April 8 at 16:43 P.m. local time from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
NASA TV will broadcast live the preparations and launch.
The company from the Hotel Tycoon, Robert Bigelow has developed the inflatable module. The Bigelow expandable activity modules, short beam, has folded a diameter of 2.4 m, is 1.74 meters long and weighs nearly 1.4 tons. Thus, beam occupies more than half of the 2.5 tonne payload of the Falcon 9 rocket. Unfold in space increases to 3.0 m of diameter, the module is even 3.96 m long. That is enough room for astronauts.
Mid-April will beam to the ISS docking to prepare station to enlarge habitable zones
On Sunday, Dragon will arrive to ISS. The astronauts Jeff Williams (NASA) and Tim Peake (ESA) will flight with dragon in the harmony module of the ISS to dock. Also this man-oeuvre is transferred from NASA TV. Expected a week later will dock at the ISS, crew beam with the mounting arm Canadarm2 to the tranquility module. In the tranquility are the life support systems of the ISS housed.
EAT only after the connection with the beam will be folded to a 16 m3 large room.
For two years, the space is tested and regularly “committed” by the astronauts. You will take measurements and check whether the module can withstand the heavy loads of space. This involves the high temperature fluctuations, strong radiation and the collision with smallest meteorites and space debris.
Beam could serve also for the construction of hotels in outer space
On Earth have flexible walls of the beam engine the with impact of meteorite. Whether this will succeed in space, the module will have to prove in the next two years. What material is the 30 cm-thick outer skin, and is a secret of the company. Currently, there are the walls of the space station ISS is aluminum.
When beam two years good survives, a convenient technique would be found to not only low Earth orbit the ISS continues to expand. One could imagine and the establishment of commercial space stations, which serve as hotels. Such modules could play a role in long-term missions such as the planned manned flight to Mars. In contests already engineers have thought all over the world, how you could build a space station on Mars.