Watch the ISS Crew Inflate Its New Space House [Updated]

Image: Bigelow Aerospace
Image: Bigelow Aerospace

The ISS is getting a little renovation done, courtesy of its very first attachable space house, which is almost ready to inflate. Will it pop? Float away? Let’s watch to find out.


The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, arrived on the ISS back in early-April aboard the same Dragon launch that gave SpaceX its first ever drone ship landing.

BEAM hasn’t just been chilling in the cargo hold these last few months. It was attached by a robotic arm to the space station’s outer shell just days after it arrived, and in Thursday’s early morning hours, it will finally start to expand.

Even with BEAM fully expanded, however, space-crunched astronauts are going to need to wait a little longer yet for some much needed extra floating room. The first astronaut visit into the space cottage isn’t scheduled until June 2nd.

BEAM’s expansion starts at 5:30 a.m. EDT. Watch it with us right here:

UPDATE 9:25 a.m.: NASA is still trying to determine just what caused unexpectedly-high pressure levels in the structure after it started expanded. They’ve called off attempts for today and will be attempting a second run tomorrow.



Watching the stubby BEAM go from small and crinkly to taunt and inflated is a good definition of space porn.