Space Station Room Inflated! (Time-Lapse Video)

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) was successfully delivered (see Bigelow's Inflatable BEAM Module Ready For ISS In 2015) a year late. Then, a bit of trouble inflating it.

But finally, take a look at the finished, attached and inflated BEAM in this time-lapse video.


(BEAM expansion time lapse video)

In an interview in April, Robert Bigelow said he hopeful that the inflatable habitat his space company had developed would, in fact, inflate once it reached the International Space Station. But after SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket blew up last year, the launch of the habitat was delayed significantly.

“This has been waiting for a year," said Bigelow, the founder of Bigelow Aerospace. "We’ve didn’t expect that. We thought, well maybe three or four months. But it’s been cinched up really tight in that mode for over a year. We’re not necessarily concerned. It’s just one more element that we would rather not have. We’d like to have not gone through that. We don’t know if t it makes a different if it's cinched up for one year or ten years.”

Then, on Thursday, the big day came—the moment astronauts aboard the station would begin pumping air into the habitat, known as the BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

It didn’t go so well.

The pressure was off, and after two and a half hours, NASA officials called it off for another day. Finally, on Saturday, the BEAM inflated successfully, giving the station another room.

This is how Raymond Z. Gallun, Golden Age master of science fiction, described the inflation of a space craft in 1961 (from The Planet Strappers:

Just then the order came, maddeningly calm and hard above the other sounds in Frank's phone: "All novices disembarked from GOs-11 and -12 must clear four-hundred mile take-off orbital zone for other traffic within two hours."

At once Frank was furiously busy, working the darkened stellene of his bubb from the drum, letting it spread like a long wisp of silvery cobweb against the stars, letting it inflate from the air-flasks to a firm and beautiful circle, attaching the rigging, the fine, radial spokewires—for which the blastoff drum itself now formed the hub. To the latter he now attached his full-size, sun-powered ionic motor. Then he crept through the double sealing flaps of the airlock, to install the air-restorer and the moisture-reclaimer in the circular, tunnel-like interior that would now be his habitation.
(Read more about space bubbles [bubbs])

Gallun's space bubbles were made of stellene, which has its own safety features, rather than layers of fabric with spacing between layers and an internal restraint and bladder system.

Also, take a look at the Inflatable Expansion Bubble from Crashlander (1994), by Larry Niven; this article contains more information about famed aerospace engineer Werner von Braun's inflatable space station idea from 1952.

Via Washington Post.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/26/2016)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.' Arthur C. Clarke, 1978.

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...' - Ray Cummings, 1930.

UM Hall Thruster Breaks Records
Someday, we'll see an ion drive used to get to Mars.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Made In Space To Manufacture Optical Fiber In Orbit
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.