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NASA will try again on Saturday to expand the privately built BEAM module on ISS.
They think the reason the module didn’t inflate as planned the first time is because it has been packed ready for launch for more than fifteen months, ten months longer than originally planned.
That extra time in a tight squeeze might explain why the first inflation attempt didn’t go as planned. BEAM’s Kevlar-like fabric “layers have a memory to them,” Lisa Kauke, BEAM deputy program manager at Bigelow Aerospace, said during today’s teleconference. “The longer they’re packed, the more they’re compressed, and then it takes a little while for the shape to return.” This interpretation is bolstered by the fact that BEAM continued to expand overnight Thursday into Friday morning, even though no more air was being pumped in, Crusan said.