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Watch live: Expandable room to be installed on space station Saturday

The International Space Station’s robotic arm, under the control of engineers on Earth, is set to extract an experimental inflatable habitat from the trunk of SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship Saturday and attach it to the orbiting complex.

Made by Bigelow Aerospace, the new module will spend two years on the space station to prove the novel design’s worthiness for future commercial orbiting research labs and expeditions to deep space.

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, flew to the space station inside a SpaceX Dragon cargo craft last week. The flight was arranged between Bigelow and NASA, which is paying the Las Vegas-based company $17.8 million for the project.

Unlike the space station’s other modules, which are made of metal alloys, BEAM is made of reinforced fabric designed to be resistant to radiation and bombardment by tiny flecks of space junk and micrometeoroids.

One of the BEAM project’s objectives is to verify the inflatable module concept can withstand the rigors of spaceflight.

The module will be inflated around May 26, expanding to four times its current volume until it reaches the approximate dimensions of a family-sized tent.

Bigelow Aerospace intends to launch a module 20 times bigger to low Earth orbit in 2020 to form the centerpiece of a commercial human-tended space station for tourists and researchers to visit.

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Source: You’ll find lots of information about the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Also we have facts about the space station, ISS, SpaceX launch, space program, and outerspace. Space Flight

Watch live: Expandable room to be installed on space station Saturday

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