NASA's First Inflatable Room Successfully Attaches To The ISS; 'Space Hotels' A Possibility?
The inflatable room called BEAM was successfully attached to the International Space Station last April 16. According to NASA, it will stay there for two years for investigations. This experiment will help them determine whether or not this technology can be useful in future space exploration.
NASA said "BEAM is inflated from its packed dimensions of 5.7 feet long and just under 7.75 feet in diameter to its pressurized dimensions of 13 feet long and 10.5 feet in diameter. BEAM weighs approximately 3,000 pounds and has 560 cubic feet of pressurized volume." It is now successfully installed and docked to the International Space Station.
For NASA it'll help them in future space exploration, but for Bigelow aerospace, the developers of the inflatable module, they wanted to study this technology to be able to bring more people in outer space.
According to Popular Science, the low-key billionaire Robert Bigelow dreamt of bringing inflatable habitats in space. He is also the owner of Bigelow Aerospace. In the same report, they said that Bigelow makes habitats fit for harsh environments even worst those desserts. And Bigelow's dream is to take his inflatable habitat to space. That's where the idea of space hotel came from. PopSci added "these habitats will be on the moon, housing all sorts of corporate, science, and government types (prospectors, all)."
Once the two-year experimentation on the expandable room attached to the International Space Station expires, the new results will help them in determining if it is indeed possible to build a space hotel and bring more humans to outer space.
In 2015, Bigelow showed the press his first prototype of space hotel and it is bigger than the international space station. According to Popular Science it is called the Olympus inflatable craft. It is complete with a docking station, way station, a lunar lander transport a moon orbiter or a low earth orbit hotel.
Bigelow once said, people used to laugh at his projects. But when he landed a contract with NASA to launch BEAM, people started to believe in his projects.
And now he wanted to prove his detractors wrong, once again. It's starting to look like the billionaire hotel mogul is about to see his dream "space hotel" come to life. After successfully attaching his first inflatable room to the ISS, he moves on to the next big thing, of building more inflatable technology to bring more people to the outer space.