Thursday, January 17, 2013

Inflatable Habitat for Space Station Planned

 PHOTO: NASA deputy administrator, Lori Garver, left, and Bigelow Aerospace president Robert Bigelow, pose for photos and video in front of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module during a news conference on Jan. 16, 2013, in Las Vegas.

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.

In announcing the deal, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said a lightweight, inflatable compartment could be dramatically cheaper than the metal cylinders that make up most of the space station's living area.

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Source: ABC News.


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