Space station flight engineer Jeff Williams will send commands Thursday to pump air into an experimental soft-sided module developed by commercial space habitat builder Bigelow Aerospace, expanding the structure to four times its current size in a stepping stone to future orbital destinations. Live video begins at 5:30 a.m. EDT (0930 GMT).
The International Space Station’s oldest sections launched nearly 17 years ago, and with the huge orbiting research complex now well into its operational life as a microgravity science lab, prime contractor Boeing’s job is keeping the outpost going, according to Mark Mulqueen, who manages the aerospace company’s space station program.
SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule arrived at the International Space Station early Sunday with 3.5 tons of supplies and experiments, including an inflatable room to test out technologies for future use on deep space missions. British astronaut Tim Peake captured Dragon with the robotic arm at 7:23 a.m. EDT (1123 GMT).