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Astronauts climb into BEAM for the first time

Engadget Engadget 7/06/2016 Mariella Moon
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Earlier, a couple of ISS crew members floated into BEAM to check on its condition for the first time ever. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka collected air samples and downloaded data from the sensors inside the expandable module. The duo said that while it's quite cold inside, they didn't find any condensation -- but you don't have to take their word for it. They captured the inside of the module on camera, and you can see what it looks like in the video after the break.

Williams spent seven hours pumping air into BEAM in May after the first attempt to unfold the module ended up in failure. Now that it's set up and ready for testing, the ISS crew could check up on its condition up to 67 times a year. BEAM or Bigelow Expandable Activity Module is an experimental space habitat jointly developed by NASA and Bigelow Aerospace. It was shipped to the ISS folded to save space aboard SpaceX's Dragon capsule and had to be inflated to its full size. Bigelow Aerospace is also working on a much bigger expandable module that it hopes to send to orbit by 2020.


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