Aerospace company Sierra Space is developing inflatable modules for future space stations. The modules are packed into a small space, launched on a rocket, and then expanded upon arrival in orbit. In the below video, watch as their Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE)—with a volume of 300 cubic meters—is inflated at the NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and bursts with beauty. Don’t be fooled though—the test was a success!
“In what is known as an ultimate burst pressure test, the LIFE module was inflated and the pressure inside increased until it burst,” reports Space News. “The module burst at a pressure of 77 pounds per square inch (psi), nearly 27% above NASA’s recommended level of 60.8 psi, itself four times above the maximum operating pressure for the module.”
According to the report, “LIFE is intended to be one of Sierra Space’s contributions to Orbital Reef, the commercial space station being developed with Blue Origin and others. Sierra Space, though, has proposed launching a LIFE module as a “Pathfinder” space station before Orbital Reef.