Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: NASA has successfully installed the first experimental inflatable room attached to the International Space Station (ISS), confirmed officials from the US space agency.
NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams began introducing air into the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module on Saturday afternoon, but he only filled air into the spacecraft for a very short time, ranging from one to 30 seconds, each time, Xinhua news agency reported.
In total, Williams opened the air valve 25 times for a total time of 2 minutes and 27 seconds to add air to the module in short bursts as flight controllers carefully monitored the its internal pressure.
"For safety, we re going slowly," the US space agency said on Twitter.
"Want to ensure expansion doesn't impart any force onto the Station structure itself."
The 1,400 kg Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) was built by Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace under a $17 million NASA contract.
When manual operations ended late Saturday night, the module added 1.5 metres in length to reach 1.7 metres beyond its packed configuration and an internal diameter of 3.2 metres, NASA said.
(With IANS inputs)