Bigelow Beam Installation Animation.
Future astronauts will require highly reliable habitation systems to keep them healthy and productive during missions that take them farther from Earth than humans have ever gone before.
Through public-private partnerships with U.S. industry, NASA is investigating habitation concepts that can support astronauts who are living and working in the harsh environment of deep space.
Expandable habitats are one such concept under consideration. To demonstrate expandable habitation modules, NASA will attach the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) to the International Space Station for a minimum two-year technology demonstration. The space station is the world's leading laboratory for conducting cutting-edge research and is the primary platform for technology research, development and testing in space to enable human and robotic exploration of destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including asteroids and Mars.