The First Operational Inflatable Spacecraft is Working!

The BEAM module is important for future space exploration. I am glad to see that deployment has gone well so far. Success of this mission to the ISS will pave the way to further use in space exploration.

Having these more easily launched habitats will make it much easier to set up orbiting stations or surface outposts on the Moon, Mars and beyond.


Last week, NASA inflated the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) that was flown to the International Space Station on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on April 8th. After an aborted attempt to inflate it on May 26th, it was fully deployed and pressurized on the 28th. Now, for the first time in history, an astronaut has entered an inflatable spacecraft. BEAM will be tested for two years to determine the technology’s feasibility for more operational use. Inflatable space craft component represent a potentially superior technology to take astronauts on long haul missions.

Inflatables Have More Volume per Mass

b330split1The planned operational Bigelow module is the B330. The 330 stands for the 330 cubic meters of inter volume a single module provides. In the manned spacecraft world, that’s a lot. To put it in perspective, the Destiny module of the ISS is 160 cubic meters. In real world sizes, it has…

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