May 28, 2016 06:25 AM EDT
NASA Latest News: NASA Will Try Again After Failed Attempt To inflate Its First Expandable Habitat On The ISS
After two hours after its launch, NASA ended its first attempt to inflate the habitat, known as the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), when it failed to fully expand. Having successfully finished the first three steps, NASA hit a hitch on the last part of expansion when it initiated manual expansion of the BEAM.
The BEAM team ran into higher-than-expected forces the models predicted according to The Verge. They also crossed pressures that were not part of our models. Advanced Exploration Systems Director Jason Crusan told members of the press at NASA Headquarters in Washington. He added that main forces that they predicted to work with are friction forces flanked by the fabrics. Those parts are most likely the contributing aspect.
Experiencing what happened, NASA and its scientists will improve their models and plan around these unforeseen forces. NASA will continue with another pressurization try tomorrow, Crusan said. In case the second attempt is unsuccessful, they will collapse the BEAM and move with another date, The Verge added.
NASA has not announced yet the exact time of tomorrow's attempt. However, if the space agency proceeds on this and successfully shows the habitat can defend against acute temperatures, solar radiation and space debris, then it would possible that these expandable habitats could one day be used to accompany in an era of private space hotel accommodations, The Verge said.
Had the operation been successful, NASA would have been checking to see if the BEAM guarantees the astronauts' safety to move around in. And to do this, astronauts would gather data about its conditions in three or four times a year.
Even though, Crusan did not rule out the use of module to give the astronauts a new playroom or to house equipment. For now, it is primarily a test platform to perceive how well the structure holds up in outer space, The Register reported.
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