NASA plans to add an inflatable module to the ISS, originally intended for the purposes of space tourism.
The agency NASA has paid $ 17.8 million for an aerospace contractor adds a new habitable module to the International Space Station, according to a press release. The company Bigelow Aerospace will develop a supplement to the "safe and accessible location of people in space." Details are still being kept secret, but it is known that developed by Bigelow modules will triple the size of the ISS.
A startup in the field of space technology Bigelow Aerospace, which specializes in inflatable space abodes, proposed the creation of a cylindrical module called "Bigelow Expandable Activity Module" in January 2011. Their design concept is to create a module BA-2100, an area of 2100 cubic meters, which is much higher than the current area of the ISS 837 cubic meters. Module length is 17 meters and a diameter of 12.5 meters. The additional space will expand the functionality of the station.
The idea of creating BA-2100 was originally developed as part of Bigelow Commercial Space Station, which was to go into orbit in 2015. But after making the decision to expand the existing space station, the project will require some refinement. NASA and Bigelow Aerospace is going to hold a joint press conference, which will discuss the details of their joint venture.