Watch inflation of new expandable habitat on ISS! – @NASA

NASA has inflated the BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) module on the ISS. Check out the cool time-lapse video of the expansion above! The below image from NASA shows the location of the expandable habitat in the context of the whole space station.

The module measured just over 7 feet long and just under 7.75 feet in diameter in its packed configuration. BEAM now measures more than 13 feet long and about 10.5 feet in diameter to create 565 cubic feet of habitable volume. It weighs approximately 3,000 pounds.

During the next week, leak checks will be performed on BEAM to ensure its structural integrity. Hatch opening and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams’ first entrance into BEAM will take place about a week after leak checks are complete.

BEAM is an example of NASA’s increased commitment to partnering with industry to enable the growth of the commercial use of space. The project is co-sponsored by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division and Bigelow Aerospace.


@NASA’s Space Launch System – no small steps! #Journeytomars

No Small Steps Episode 1: Getting to Mars

NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System, will meet the challenges of exploring deep space. And when it comes to NASA’s journey of Mars and beyond, there are no small steps. Stephen Granade talks how SLS will be the most capable rocket ever built for that trip to the Red Planet and other destinations in the solar system. This is the first video in a set of three.

NASA Video: Reach for New Heights!! … aka MARS!!

Reach for New Heights

NASA centers across the country are talking about the “State of NASA” as we continue our journey to Mars.

Innovation drives this journey to reach new heights and reveal the unknown, which will benefit all of humankind.

Don’t miss the launch of SpaceX’s Dragon to ISS! And SpaceX trying to land a rocket on a boat!!

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In addition to taking a science-heavy payload to the International Space Station, this SpaceX launch will also be a first attempt to land its Dragon rocket on a ship in the ocean! Get more info and watch live here!


President Obama congratulates @NASA_Orion team, including chief engineer JULIE KRAMER WHITE!!

President Obama, speaking to the Senior Executive Service, recognized Julie Kramer White, Orion’s chief engineer, for the successful Orion flight test. He also noted the spacecraft’s mission, saying that “when a human is the first to set foot (on Mars), they will have Julie and her team to thank and at that point, I’ll be out of the presidency and I might hitch a ride.”

President Obama Speaks to Senior Executive Service

President Obama recognizes Orion Chief Engineer Julie Kramer White during remarks.

@NASA_Orion test flight complete with splashdown and recovery! Congrats @NASA! #space

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@NASA_Orion spacecraft test flight updates via @NASA twitter account #JourneyToMars


Don’t miss the launch of the @NASA_Orion test flight tomorrow at 7:05am EST – @NASA livestream #JourneytoMars

Don’t forget! Tomorrow the Orion Spacecraft will blast off on a test flight just after 7 am EST! NASA livestream of the launch here, starts at 4am! More info on the NASA Orion blog here (image credit).

Critical Step on Journey to Mars
The countdown is on for Thursday’s 7:05 a.m. EST launch of NASA’s new human spacecraft, Orion, on its first voyage to space. Lifting off aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket, the un-crewed Orion will orbit 3,600 miles above Earth before splashing down in the Pacific. Meteorologists upgraded their outlook to a 70 percent chance of acceptable conditions. Orion is being designed to carry astronauts on exploration missions into deep space, including a trip to an asteroid and eventually to Mars.

Check out previous CauseScience posts about Orion.

Also, there is a great article on UniverseToday comparing heavy lift launch systems including the SLS!

Check out the A-to-Zs of the Orion Spacecraft in prep for Thursday’s launch – twitter win! @NASA #JourneyToMars @NASA_Orion

In preparation for the test flight of NASA’s Orion Spacecraft, the NASA twitter account (@NASA) tweeted the A-to-Zs of Orion.  CauseScience is definitely excited for the launch of Orion this Thursday! The launch is one of the first major steps towards NASA’s journey to Mars. We have our fingers crossed for good weather!

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