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Waspie_Dwarf

Bigelow to Provide Inflatable Station Module

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NASA, Bigelow Officials to Discuss Space Station Expandable Module

Jan. 11, 2013

Trent J. Perrotto

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-1100

trent.j.perrotto@nasa.gov

Mike Gold

Bigelow Aerospace

240-235-6016

mgold@bigelowaerospace.com

MEDIA ADVISORY : M13-011

NASA, Bigelow Officials to Discuss Space Station Expandable Module

WASHINGTON -- NASA has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide a new addition to the International Space Station. The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module will demonstrate the benefits of this space habitat technology for future exploration and commercial space endeavors.

"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," NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. "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 affordably, and heralds important progress in U.S. commercial space innovation."

Garver and Bigelow Aerospace Founder and President Robert Bigelow will discuss the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module program at a media availability at 1:30 p.m. EST (10:30 a.m. PST) Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Bigelow Aerospace facilities located at 1899 W. Brooks Ave. in North Las Vegas.

To attend, media representatives must contact Mike Gold at mgold@bigelowaerospace.com by 8 p.m. EST (5 p.m. PST) Jan. 15.

Journalists interested in a one-on-one interview with Garver should contact Sarah Ramsey at 202-215-9680 or sarah.ramsey@nasa.gov or Michael Cabbage at 202-549-8073 or mcabbage@nasa.gov.

For more information about Bigelow Aerospace, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

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Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
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NASA To Test Bigelow Expandable Module On Space Station

Jan. 16, 2013

Trent J. Perrotto

Headquarters, Washington

202-358-1100

trent.j.perrotto@nasa.gov

RELEASE : 13-024

NASA To Test Bigelow Expandable Module On Space Station

AS VEGAS -- NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver announced Wednesday a newly planned addition to the International Space Station that will use the orbiting laboratory to test expandable space habitat technology. NASA has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide a Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which is scheduled to arrive at the space station in 2015 for a two-year technology demonstration.

"Today we're demonstrating progress on a technology that will advance important long-duration human spaceflight goals," Garver said. "NASA's partnership with Bigelow opens a new chapter in our continuing work to bring the innovation of industry to space, heralding cutting-edge technology that can allow humans to thrive in space safely and affordably."

The BEAM is scheduled to launch aboard the eighth SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the station contracted by NASA, currently planned for 2015. Following the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft carrying the BEAM to the station, astronauts will use the station's robotic arm to install the module on the aft port of the Tranquility node.

After the module is berthed to the Tranquility node, the station crew will activate a pressurization system to expand the structure to its full size using air stored within the packed module.

During the two-year test period, station crew members and ground-based engineers will gather performance data on the module, including its structural integrity and leak rate. An assortment of instruments embedded within module also will provide important insights on its response to the space environment. This includes radiation and temperature changes compared with traditional aluminum modules.

"The International Space Station is a uniquely suited test bed to demonstrate innovative exploration technologies like the BEAM," said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for human exploration and operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "As we venture deeper into space on the path to Mars, habitats that allow for long-duration stays in space will be a critical capability. Using the station's resources, we'll learn how humans can work effectively with this technology in space, as we continue to advance our understanding in all aspects for long-duration spaceflight aboard the orbiting laboratory."

Astronauts periodically will enter the module to gather performance data and perform inspections. Following the test period, the module will be jettisoned from the station, burning up on re-entry.

The BEAM project is sponsored by NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Program, which pioneers innovative approaches to rapidly and affordably develop prototype systems for future human exploration missions. The BEAM demonstration supports an AES objective to develop a deep space habitat for human missions beyond Earth orbit.

For more information about Bigelow Aerospace, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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Bigelow Expandable Activity Module Installation Animation

An animation of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module's extraction and installation on the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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NASA, building the International Space Station over the last two decades, ran into ballooning costs. One solution it's now embraced is ballooning -- literally -- in orbit.

NASA has signed a $17.8 million contract with Bigelow Aerospace, a firm based near Las Vegas, to build an inflatable habitat that could be added to the space station by 2015. The new compartment is called BEAM, short for Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

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