NASA and Bigelow Aerospace recently announced their latest addition to the International Space Station (ISS). They have signed a partnership worth $17.8 million to allow Bigelow to expand on previous projects to create a new section for the ISS.
According to the Space Reporter “The New section of the ISS, which will be designed and built by Bigelow, will be inflatable. The ISS addition, which is named the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) will be based off of previous work Bigelow Aerospace has completed and will feature an inflatable portion that will house astronauts working in the space station. In 2006 and 2007 the company created and launched two inflatable space stations named Genesis I and Genesis II. The Genesis inflatable spacecrafts were 14.4 feet long by 8.3 feet wide. BEAM is expected to be similar to the Genesis Protocols.”
Lori Garver the NASA deputy administrator spoke about the partnership with Bigelow. “The International Space Station is a unique laboratory that enables important discoveries that benefit humanity and vastly increase understanding of how humans can live and work in space for long periods. This partnership agreement for the use of expandable habitats represents a step forward in cutting edge technology that can allow humans to thrive in space safely and comfortably and heralds important progress in U.S. commercial space innovation.”
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