ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet inspecting the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) and taking photographs for processing on ground. BEAM is a new type of space habitat that is launched in a compressed form and expands once connected to the International Space Station. This uses less payload volume on a rocket, but could provide a larger and comfortable area for astronauts to live and work.
After a two-year test period, BEAM will be jettisoned from the space station, leaving orbit to burn during its descent through Earth’s atmosphere—much like many cargo spacecraft do.
This video is sped up 30 times.
During his Proxima mission, Thomas will perform around 50 scientific experiments for ESA and France’s space agency CNES as well as take part in many research activities for the other Station partners.
The mission is part of ESA’s vision to use Earth-orbiting spacecraft as a place to live and work for the benefit of European society while using the experience to prepare for future voyages of exploration further into the Solar System.