WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka entered the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) habitat on board the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said in a statement on Monday.
"Along with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, [US astronaut Jeff] Williams entered BEAM for the first time to collect an air sample and begin downloading data from sensors on the dynamics of BEAM’s expansion," NASA stated.
BEAM is designed to take up less space on a rocket than a traditional space habitat. During a two-year mission, astronauts will test how it performs and protects against solar radiation, space debris and extreme temperatures.
BEAM launched on April 8 on board a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft and was attached to the ISS about a week later.