Maybe it's nervous?
NASA and Bigelow Aerospace earlier today scrubbed a first attempt to inflate the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) - the "human-rated expandable structure" which is clamped to the International Space Station (ISS) for a two-year test. After "several hours of attempts to introduce air into the module" by ISS crew member …
Ohhh, someone doesn't approve of willy jokes! That's strange, I'm sure my browser's address bar is displaying forums.theregister.co.uk at the mo!
Seriously, we've been spoilt a bit of late with successful space (and back again) missions, so we forget how hard... er difficult rather, these things can be.
I wish the team good luck for tomorrow!
[quote]The inflation of BEAM requires the ISS to be in sunlight, allowing a clear video feed of swelling or, in this case, non-engorgement. Accordingly, time constraints were also a factor in the decision to abort. NASA reckons a second attempt may be on the cards for tomorrow.[/quote]
I know very little, but doesn't the ISS orbit the earth once every 90 minutes? I gather they need time to plan their next move, but they don't have to wait until tomorrow. Don't we have relays around the world for communication? Couldn't the ISS crew try to re-inflate this once every 90 minutes if necessary?
It's going to be something hideously trivial like the 5p washer on the connector has perished or cracked in the cold and blocked the airflow. And due to weight limits they didn't pack a spare.
There's surely an engineering law to cover this - along the lines of the one that requires the £250,000 machine to sacrifice itself to save the 15p fuse.
This is an inflatable thingy, right. In space, with micrometers and stuff and shit. And they want astronauts to occupy this room. Well, remembering my recent experiments with a bag of balloons, also inflatable spaces, and the conclusion that when pricked with something pointy they tend to go BANG and disappear. And if the astronauts were inside?
I really hope that they've got a metric shitload of duct tape up there. They've gonna need it.
This is an inflatable thingy, right. In space, with micrometers and stuff and shit. ... Well, remembering my recent experiments with a bag of balloons, also inflatable spaces ...
Did your balloons have 18-inch thick, multi-layered walls [Ref. 1] designed and tested to stop micrometeorites [Ref. 2], and did they have years of proven space operations by two prior demonstrator satellites [Refs. 3, 4]? Otherwise, your balloon experiments were probably not comparable to BEAM and its predecessors.
1. Description of BEAM wall layers including micrometeorite and orbital debris shield (MMOD).
2. Spacecraft armor, picture #5 shows a cross-section of BEAM's grand daddy, the Transhab multi-layered, foam-filled Whipple shield
3. Genesis I, the first flown inflatable Bigelow demonstrator with 10 years in orbit and no punctures.
4. Genesis II, the second flown demonstrator with 9 years in orbit and no punctures.
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