You may have read the previous piece on the NASA’s inflatable space habitat being rocketed towards the International Space Station (ISS) with the help of Space X and Bigelow Aerospace. Now the crucial testing period has arrived for the air filled shelter and the first attempt on it ended in a failure. After the initial setback, the astronauts at the Space station got to work for several hours and were able to successfully inflate it. Here is the video of the time-lapse of the entire process:
Looks like fast forward of a balloon inflating, doesn’t it? The 10.6 x 5.6x 7 feet capsule encountered hiccups in the early stages because of the fact that the package still retained some rigidity since it was kept packed for some time. But, the rigidity was overcome and the inflatable capsule successfully inflated. Now NASA wants to pressurize the inner area of the pod so that it can become completely inhabitable. The ISS also tweeted a live coverage of the inflation being carried on in space.
— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) May 28, 2016
This is the first attempt at making an expandable room in Space and will help increase precious space onboard the ISS as well as future deep space missions like the Mars one. The pressurization part of this experiment is also tricky. According to the ISS, it will take another week for the astronauts to step inside the inflatable room with a fully pressurized cabin. Amazing, isn’t it?