BEAM Open Today for Tests

BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, is pictured installed on the Tranquility module and expanded to its full-size volume.

BEAM, the new expandable module attached to the International Space Station, was opened up today for tests and equipment checks. The Expedition 49 crew also explored eating right in space, adapting to new technology and studied a variety of other life science and physics research.

Flight Engineer Kate Rubins opened up and entered the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module this afternoon. She temporarily installed gear inside BEAM for a test to measure the loads and vibrations the module experiences. Rubins started her day with a performance test on a mobile tablet device then videotaped her observations of the living conditions aboard the space station.

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi started an 11-day run today to document his meals while wearing a monitor that will take water samples and measure his breathing. The ENERGY experiment will help doctor’s understand metabolism in space and ensure astronauts are properly nourished to maintain the energy required for a long-term mission. Onishi is also continuing to set up the Group Combustion fuel burning study and checked for pressure leaks in the experiment gear.

In the Russian side of the orbital laboratory, Commander Anatoly Ivanishin resumed studying charged particle systems trapped in a magnetic field. He also participated in a pair of Earth photography experiments observing how natural and man-made disasters including industrial activities affect the land and sea.

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5 thoughts on “BEAM Open Today for Tests”

  1. Given the experimental nature of BEAM, does entry to the compartment require a space suit and/or airlock?

  2. “In the Russian side of the orbital laboratory”. Please don’t tell me we’ve drawn borders inside the ISS.

    1. The crew can move freely between the modules. The U.S., Russia, Japan and Europe have built modules that provide cargo storage, living space and research facilities. Canada developed the 57.7 foot robotic arm that can capture spaceships and maneuver spacewalkers among other tasks. The host space agencies have control centers that monitor numerous systems including life support and science inside their modules. Other nations have also contributed to the development of the International Space Station.

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