This afternoon, NASA started a fire aboard a trash-filled cargo spacecraft, but it was all in the name of science. Engineers at the agency's Glenn Research Center are studying how large-scale fires spread in space.
BEAM, the International Space Station's new expandable habitat module, is open for business. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka entered the module at 4:47 a.m. EDT (9:47 UTC) this morning.
BEAM is expanded and pressurized! The International Space Station's newest module, which will serve as a technology demonstrator for in-space expandable habitats, was fully filled with air this afternoon.
NASA will try again tomorrow to expand BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. During a press teleconference this afternoon, officials said they were confident the module was going to expand—it's just a question of when.
The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft breezed through a major systems test today, demonstrating the CubeSat can successfully deploy its antenna and solar panels, communicate with the ground, and unfurl its 32-square-meter solar sails in space.